ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Scavio brothers, the Paesan’s Pizza chain owners, are paying it forward once again. They decided to leave a large tip on New Year’s Eve to the waitstaff at Black and Blue in honor of their father who passed away last month at 90-years-old.

“They’re serving us on a holiday where they should be with their family,” Frank Scavio, owner of Paesan’s Pizza, said. “So, to see that and then the way they treat you with big smiles, it’s the least we can do.”

The family behind Paesan’s Pizza wanted to start the year off right with an act of kindness. While at a New Year’s Eve dinner with the family, the brothers decided to give a $900 tip to the waiter and another $900 tip to be split among the rest of the staff in honor of their father, who was known for generosity.

Frank said financially, it’s been a good year for business, but emotionally, it hasn’t been easy.

The Scavios lost the patriarch of their family, Lorenzo Scavio, on December 11, only days after his 90th birthday.

“My dad’s biggest thing was family. We all live together on the same block,” Frank said. “He had a saying, ‘three can get further than one.’ So we are three brothers that have stuck together, and now we want to instill that in our children.”

Lorenzo gave the brothers the nest egg to start Paesan’s first pizza shop. So, with Lorenzo’s giving spirit in mind, Frank said he dreams of the $1,800 tip inspiring others to give back, especially during a time when restaurant employees are stretched thin.

“I’m hoping on a larger scale that we appreciate each other. We need each other to get through this pandemic,” Frank said. “I had to close my store down yesterday because we had COVID; we had issues with staffing. So yeah, I hope people see this, and if you give an extra buck, it makes a difference.”

Paesan’s Pizza has been finding different ways to pay it forward ever since they were given a top review by famed Youtuber Dave Portnoy that helped their online frozen pizza business boom.

In the past year, they sent donations overseas to troops in Afghanistan, donated $10,000 in support of The Barstool Fund to support struggling small businesses, and left another generous tip
to a local waiter at the Lake George Beach Club.

“My message to the community? If we can stick together, we can conquer all, even this pandemic,” Frank said. “But we must stick together.”