Lifestyle & Human Interest

Chick-fil-A Worker Quietly Feeds Hungry Man Who Can't Afford Meal: 'Breakfast Is on Me'


I’m sure you know the old cliche about how your character shows best in what you do when no one is watching. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus had a similar lesson about how you shouldn’t seek praise for your good works.

“When you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward,” he said in Matthew 6:2.

Sometimes, though, people suss out even the most secretly done deeds. That’s what happened at a Chick-fil-A in Jackson, Mississippi.

According to WMBF-TV, a man named Robert Gooch was waiting in line at the Chick-fil-A on East County Line Road when he noticed something. A man in less-than-presentable clothes was trying to order food.

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Gooch quickly noticed that the man only had $5, an amount that wouldn’t go particularly far.

“So nosy me looks up from my phone and notices this gentleman wearing a backpack and holding a $5 bill who looks to be homeless or maybe he was dealing with a hard time,” Gooch wrote on Facebook. “But either way, as he asks about a few items on the menu, he shortly discovers that he may need more than $5.

“The lady begins to offer some suggestions to help him and the man orders. And as she’s asking him what he wants to drink and as he’s thinking about it, the lady says, ‘Don’t worry about it, because your breakfast is on me.’”

The gesture absolutely bowled Gooch over. He snapped a picture of the server, whose name happened to be Karina.

“I’ve been in customer service for a long time,” he wrote. “I’ve been through some of the best trainings such as Dale Carnegie, and yet a girl name Karina in a Chick-fil-A in Jackson, MS in a 3 minute conversation with a customer has managed to teach me the value of humility and taking care of your customers.

“It’s not just the nuggets that make this place successful. It’s people like Karina.”

It also turns out that such initiative didn’t come from a single plucky employee. It’s part of the company’s culture.

In an interview with Liftable, a section of The Western Journal, Chick-fil-A owner/operator Chris Rosson said, “Part of our mission is to have a positive impact on all who we come in contact with.”

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That might sound like a vague generality, but Rosson and his team have given it very practical application.

“We try if someone is short on money, in a bad situation, or maybe they drove off and left their billfold at home,” he explained. “We do about 3,000 to 4,000 transactions per day. That’s a lot of different opportunities that somebody might be having a bad day.”

Rosson added that though the company wants employees to take the initiative, the goal isn’t to have them spend their own money.

“We want them to take the initiative and we would then take care of that. But in Karina’s case, she did in fact take it out of her own billfold,” he said.

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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