This story begins on a normal working day for one guy named Scott Grubitz. In April 2017 he found himself in Amarillo, Texas, and he decided to grab a bite to eat at a local fast-food chain.
Grubitz chose to eat at Long John Silver’s, a fish, chicken and shrimp restaurant. Little did he know then that this was to be the stage for something quite special.
As he sat there tucking into his meal, he then noticed something out of the corner of his eye. He spotted a man entering the restaurant on his own. To Grubitz, the man looked a little down on his luck.
Grubitz assumed he was homeless and hungry. He then watched the man ask the waitress at the counter for something. It turns out he had asked her for a cup so that he could fill it with water.
She obliged and handed a cup over with a smile. Then, the man simply stood in the restaurant sipping on the water and “enjoying the air conditioning,” according to Grubitz’s Facebook page.
Grubitz never expected to see what happened next. The woman who had given the homeless man the cup appeared from behind the counter with something else for him. Something that he hadn’t asked for.
In fact, she was carrying a platter of food which she put down at a table for him. So after only asking for a cup of water, the presumably very grateful man got started on eating the free food.
Having watched the whole situation unfold in front of him, bystander Grubitz then got up to get a drink. He made the effort to go over to the waitress and tell her how impressed he was with her kindness.
He thanked her for being so giving, but she told Grubitz that her manager had given her the go-ahead. Then Grubitz took the opportunity to take a photo of her. Her name was Janet.
This photo of Janet appeared on Facebook later that day when Grubitz decided to share the heartwarming story. He posted it on “Helping Hands of Amarillo,” a page which describes itself as, “A great group of folks dedicated to helping others in need.”
In his post, Grubitz detailed exactly what happened at Long John Silver’s that day. But he primarily used the post as a way of expressing his gratitude to the people involved in the story.
He specifically addressed the manager of the restaurant, who goes by the nickname Captain. Grubitz wrote, “A HUGE ‘THANK YOU’ to CAPTAIN and the wonderful staff at the Ross location.”
“You folks are a real class act and I will definitely be returning,” he continued. Grubitz finished off the post by addressing the fact that many restaurants simply throw away the food they haven’t sold instead of giving it away.
Unsurprisingly, Grubitz’s Facebook post sparked a positive reaction from the online community. His story attracted more than 2,000 likes and hundreds of shares. People were quick to comment on the events that took place at Long John Silver’s.
One Facebook user, Mary Johnson, wrote, “A great example of love thy neighbor. Everyone needs help sometime.” Grubitz replied to this saying that it was an “awesome” thing to see happening right in front of him.
There were some thought-provoking comments written too. One Facebook user said, “I wish food establishments could do more with food that is left over at the end of the day. But health department regulation don’t allow it.”
Aside from the question of the food waste issue in general, the reaction to the Long John Silver’s story was overwhelmingly positive. It was even put forward to feature on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Grubitz posted a poll encouraging people to vote for the story to make it onto the TV show. “Maybe we can get Ellen to put these awesome folks on her show. They definitely deserve it,” he wrote alongside it.
But perhaps the most interesting part of this story is Grubitz’s feelings as he looks back on the incident. He wrote on Facebook that he “felt ashamed” when he left the restaurant because he hadn’t thought to buy the man lunch himself.
“My heart told me I dropped the ball,” he wrote. But having seen the kindness displayed by the restaurant staff, he vowed that if he ever finds himself in a similar situation, he won’t turn his head. “Next time, lunch is going to be on me!” he promised.