Hoidahl decided to pick up their lunch tab, $27.50, and left them a note.
"Thanks to the government shutdown, the people like you that protect this country are not getting paid. However, I still am. Lunch is on me! Thanks for serving, ladies! Have a good day!" the note read.
The employees posted the good deed on Facebook, and news eventually made its way to Ellen DeGeneres.
DeGeneres invited her to her daytime talk show, joking about reimbursing her for their meal. DeGeneres learned that Hoidahl's TV was broken, so she surprised her with a new 50" flatscreen to make sure she could watch the show.
At the end came the biggest surprise of all, when DeGeneres tipped her $10,000 because she thought Hoidahl was a "good person."
See the full clip from the show below.
Swim Week Miami Beach 2014 [PHOTOS]