Random act of kindness at The Steel Cauldron Harry Potter tea room in Sheffield leaves mum 'in tears'
A selfless act by an anonymous customer at a Harry Potter-themed tea room has touched the hearts of thousands of people on social media.
The Steel Cauldron, on Spooner Road in Broomhill, has shared the story of a random act of kindness in its dining room in the hope one good turn will inspire another.
Owner Rob Downham, who runs the wizarding world inspired cafe together with his wife Nikki, says he was ‘blown away’ when a generous, unknown young man quietly paid the £30 tab of a mother and son and left before she could find out on Tuesday, November 23.
"I’ve never seen a customer do that, with or without letting anyone know about it,” said Rob.
"He didn’t stop or want his picture taken for social media or anything – he just asked the staff if he could pick up their bill and left.”
Rob says the anonymous do-gooder came in to the Harry Potter-themed tea room close to closing time on Tuesday and quietly enjoyed a ‘butter brew’ with a crossword by himself.
“There was a mum and her young boy in at the same time,” said Rob. “They had made an occasion of it with crafts and milkshakes and getting something to eat.
"Anyway, when he came up to pay his £4 bill he just quietly said to my staff, ‘I’d like to pay the bill for table one’. Their bill was about £30 by that point.
"I asked him, you know, ‘why, if you don’t mind me asking?’.
"He said ‘I’ve just been sitting here and saw the way staff interacted with them (the mother and son) and it just made me really happy. We read all the time about people doing nice things and I thought today was a good day to start.’"
With that, the young man paid the tab and left.
Rob later shared the act of kindness on the business’s Facebook page, writing that the mum ‘teared up a little’ when she found out.
The post struck a nerve online, as it has now been seen by over 20,000 people and has received over 1,500 reactions.
"Thank you sir,” Rob wrote in the post. “The mum was literally speechless, teared up a little and passed you her sincere gratitude. Her son passes his magical thank yous. You also made my month.”
Rob told the Star: “There were lots of people commenting that they would think about doing something nice as well now and pay it forward.
"People love a good news story. I think a good act can be contagious.
"He in no way wanted to be identified. But I let him know, next time he visited he could have a drink on the house.”
The Steel Cauldron opened its doors in July 2020. After bearing the brunt of the pandemic and national lockdowns, Rob says the magic-inspired tea room is preparing for a busy festive season with its own Santa’s Grotto.
For more information, visit the Steel Cauldron’s website.