Malaysian Illustrator Doodles On Napkins As Thank You Notes To Restaurants, Loves Bringing Joy To Staff
Despite its essential nature, working in the F&B line can be quite a thankless job sometimes, especially for waitstaff and cooks.
This is why it’s extra heartwarming when someone extends them a gesture of appreciation.
One Malaysian woman has found a creative way of doing just that — she doodles on napkins as thank you notes to cafés and restaurants.
In a series of photos shared on TikTok, the illustrator displayed various doodles she sketched, all of which have cute cartoons of food like steak and croissants.
Malaysian illustrator’s doodles have cute thank you messages to restaurants & cafés
Recently, a TikTok slideshow of illustrator Christelle Siow’s doodles for restaurants went viral for its wholesome intent and cute drawings.
Titling it “pov: you made it a habit to leave cute thank you notes at restaurants and cafés”, the carousel shows off seven different doodles, each for a different eatery.
The first of these doodles was of a rice dish at Madam Kwan’s, a restaurant chain specialising in Malaysian cuisine.
In Ms Siow’s drawing, the rice dish had a cartoon drumstick with a cute smiley face on it, alongside a message thanking the restaurant for its “yummy” food.
Most of the other doodles also had sweet messages that complemented the cartoons, like “fantasteak” for a — you guessed it — steak restaurant and “merci” for Paris Baguette.
One sketch for Haidilao had a hotpot filled with two soup bases and mushrooms, with steam and sparkle details for added effect.
Doodles are illustrator’s way of showing appreciation for service workers
Speaking to MS News, Ms Siow, a 21-year-old graphic designer and illustrator, said that she started her doodles as a way to thank restaurants in a “happier, cute” way than just using words.
Growing up, she always felt they were underappreciated most of the time.
Besides that, she has always liked to doodle on receipts or napkins. Eventually, this gave her the idea for the thank you notes.
In her post, Ms Siow shared that she loves seeing waiters’ and waitresses’ reactions to the notes.
She revealed that she usually leaves the notes on the table for them to discover when they clean up.
One of the most memorable reactions she got came from the time she went to a Paris Baguette outlet in Malaysia.
“One of the staff members who cleaned the table picked up my note and instantly ran to the other staff members behind the counter to show it off,” she recalled.
Seeing them smile and laugh also left her grinning from ear to ear as she watched them from outside the restaurant.
Loves leaving doodles at every restaurant she visits to draw different kinds of food
Ms Siow told us that she leaves her doodles at every café and restaurant she goes to in hopes of showing kindness and gratitude to all the service workers.
She also enjoys doing this at different eateries as this means she’ll get to doodle different types of food.
When asked about the possibility of collaborating with a café or restaurant on official artwork, Ms Siow said she would love to work with her favourite beverage brands like Starbucks or Koi Thé.
Nonetheless, she would be honoured and happy to help any eatery spread kindness through her illustrations if she ever gets the opportunity.
In regard to the enthusiastic response to her doodles, Ms Siow remarked that all the positive reactions have made her excited to continue doing what she does.
As a parting message, she wishes for everyone to continue spreading gratitude and positivity, to not take anything for granted, and to always remember to thank service workers.
Viewers inspired to leave thank you doodles as well
Ms Siow’s doodles not only left many viewers moved but also inspired them to do the same when dining out.
One thanked her for the idea and said they would start bringing a pen out with them, which earned the latter’s hearty approval.
Another mentioned that they would like to do this but usually only get their food delivered. In response, Ms Siow advised that they could give the notes to delivery riders instead.
On another note (pun not intended), a café owner said they would take Ms Siow’s doodle home and frame it if they received one.
The illustrator was deeply touched by this and thanked the commenter profusely.
One commenter said it would make their day if they got to see one of Ms Siow’s doodles in person. They also encouraged her to keep spreading her “happy vibes”.
Finally, one of the most liked — and relatable — comments came from one netizen who remarked that they would do this too if their drawing skills weren’t ‘absolutely atrocious’.
Art that is beautiful in more ways than one
These doodles are nothing short of adorable, but what truly makes them beautiful is the heart that goes into each and every one of them.
While they may only take a few minutes to complete, the positive impact they leave on the recipients will last far beyond that.
Even if we aren’t all artistically gifted, we can still take a page out of Ms Siow’s book and find our own creative ways to thank service workers. And of course, even a simple “thank you” will suffice.
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Featured images adapted from @itschristelleee on TikTok.
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