By CBSBoston.com Staff

COVENTRY, R.I. (CBS) — When employees at a Rhode Island restaurant were called in for a staff meeting, many assumed the longtime owner was announcing his retirement. Instead, they got an unexpected surprise.

Cameras were rolling as management told dozens of workers at the Olde Theater Diner in Coventry that they were getting a bonus as a thank you for all their hard work during what’s been a trying time for the restaurant industry.

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“Thank you for everything you guys do throughout the year,” owner Ernie Nardolillo said. “The four of us decided to put in $15,000 and give everybody a bonus for what they’ve done.”

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That $15,000 will be divided up between about 60 employees, who went up one by one to get a piece of paper telling them how much they could expect as a bonus for their next check.

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Rhode Island is currently allowing restaurants to offer indoor dining at up to 50% of regular seating capacity.

CBSBoston.com Staff