Following Him To The Kitchen
While they waited for their food, she sat next to her husband. She was overcome by the delicious aromas of the diner and wished the waiter would bring their fried chicken right away.
However, she also caught a glimpse of something else in the diner that made her jaw drop. The manager asked an elderly woman with two young daughters to join him in the kitchen. She knew that she needed to record it.
Cajun Fried Chicken
When Elise and her husband Todd went to that diner that day, they’d only wanted to sample the place’s famed cajun fried chicken.
But the visit would soon take a different turn after Elise realized the manager was doing something he wasn’t supposed to be doing behind the counter. What began with a craving for wholesome food would soon end in one of the most significant incidents in her life.
Elise And Todd Tucker
Elise and Todd Tucker were visiting the city of Houston as part of their Texas vacation experience. A middle-aged couple, the two had spent the better part of the last decade working hard.
As the year neared a close, they planned to take a few months off work and tour their neighboring state of Texas to see what the Lone Star State had to offer. They had no idea what they were signing up for.
A Nostalgic Woman
Elise had always been a nostalgic woman. She loved taking photos and videos of things around her, immortalizing them so time wouldn’t erode them from her memory.
As such, she rarely left the house without her camera. But what she’d capture on that fateful day would be bigger than anything she’d ever recorded in her life.
The tour around Texas started the two off at Pasadena, and before they knew it, they were in Houston. After a quick rundown of the hotspots they would visit, Elise searched for the best places to grab a bite.
What came up made her smile, a diner that served some of the best cajun fried chicken in the entire city. As someone with deep roots in Louisiana, Elise couldn’t wait to try the food. She didn’t know what was waiting for them in that diner.
A Famed Diner
Elise and Todd took the whole day driving to the diner in question. They found the place packed to the brim, a testament to how good the food must have been.
The couple placed their order and patiently waited. But as a waiter brought their food, something caught Elise’s attention, prompting her to pull out her camera and start recording.
A Woman And Two Little Girls
The woman must have been in her late sixties, with two little girls by her side as she waited in the takeaway line. After a few minutes, she went ahead to talk to the manager, a bearded fellow who asked her and the little girls to join him in the kitchen.
Elise’s brows furrowed as she noticed how uncomfortable the older woman was, even as she ushered her kids past the counter. Something was terribly wrong.
Jutting her chin at the kitchen, Elise told her husband what was happening. Todd agreed that there was something fishy about the situation, and they stood to investigate.
The two hurried to the counter to ensure neither the manager nor the woman and kids were in trouble. What they’d uncover while listening in would make them take steps back.
Elise kept recording the strange situation that was unfolding in the diner. The elderly lady shuffled uncomfortably from foot to foot behind the counter with a look of agony on her face before mustering up enough courage to speak.
She held her trembling hands clasped in front of her and spoke softly. Elise and Todd had to lean in to hear what she was asking for.
The grandmother’s voice trembled as she spoke – although Elise could hardly hear her, it was obvious that she was devastated to have found herself in a situation like this.
Fighting tears and protectively pulling the two young girls closer to her, she made a request that made Elise and Todd’s hearts drop into their stomachs.
The old woman twisted her hands around each other in distress as she spoke, clearly ashamed to be sharing her shameful secret with a complete stranger.
The manager listened without saying a single word or even acknowledging what the woman was asking him. Elise and Todd couldn’t help but have a strong reaction to what she was saying, though.
Elise and Todd learned that the woman was a grandma to ten kids, eight of whom were waiting back home. Her social security card, ID, and driver’s license were in her hand.
She explained to the manager that, although deeply embarrassed by the situation, her grandkids were starving, and she had no way of feeding them. Her payments had been delayed for three months, and she was at her wit’s end. Would he be open to accepting her ID and driver’s license as security for a plate of food?
It Gets Sadder
Elise’s heart broke at that moment, and her sight grew blurry with tears. But what happened next made her tears double. The manager pushed the woman’s cards back to her, not even bothering to look at them.
With knitted eyebrows, he asked the woman and her two grandkids to go back beyond the counter. How could he be that cruel? But what he did next made Elise step forward.
A Heart-crushing Incident
Elise and Todd had been quiet throughout the exchange. They’d never experienced such a heart-crushing incident and knew they had to help the woman.
Elise thought about her grandma, picturing her in a similar situation. She wiped her eyes as her tears doubled. “We need to help her,” she told her husband, who nodded. But before they could step in, the manager returned.
If the manager’s brows knitted before, now they were drawn close to each other. His forehead was divided by many creases as he called the woman back to the counter.
He pulled a large bag over the counter, telling the woman that he’d packed food for her and her family. With a smile, he added that he understood her situation and would do everything he could to help. But it didn’t stop there.
More Than Enough
The manager had not only given the woman the popular two-piece Wednesday $1,29 deal at the restaurant, but he had also generously filled the entire bag with 25 pieces of chicken that he’d gone and prepared personally.
With the chicken pieces, he’d included a large serving of fries, vegetables, a drink for each of the two little girls, and a loaf of bread. But he still wasn’t done.
He Does More
The manager smiled at the two girls, asking if they wanted any desserts with their food. They nodded, and he returned to the kitchen, coming back with a generous serving of lemon cakes.
The older woman was tearing up by now. She tried to give her ID and driver’s license again, telling the manager she couldn’t accept that much food for free. That’s when Elise and Todd stepped in.
They Introduce Themselves
Elise introduced herself and Todd, asking the woman to accept the good deed. She thanked the manager for his heart of gold, even going as far as offering to pay for the woman’s food.
But the manager wouldn’t accept the money. He told Elise and the woman that he was happy to foot the bill, regardless of how much it was. But what he said next would top everything he’d done so far.
A Good Deed
The manager told the woman she shouldn’t hesitate to contact him if she was ever in a similar situation. He gave her his number and assured her he was happy to help.
For Elise and Todd, the only thing they could do now was offer to pay for the woman’s car fuel. They also gave her some upkeep money. “A good deed deserves another,” Elise wrote on Facebook, where the story spread like wildfire.
Sharing The Story
“God bless this man. We went into Frenchys to get some fried chicken. There was a lady here with two little girls,” the Facebook post read.
“She asked the manager if she could get some chicken that she would pay for tomorrow when she gets her taxes. He bought her 25 pcs of chicken, family-sized fry and greens, and he gave her bread, drinks, and cake with his own money,” she wrote. But Elise didn’t expect the response she would get.
A Viral Post
Elise’s Facebook post about the random act of kindness she’d witnessed quickly amassed more than 15,000 likes and hundreds of comments from awestruck netizens.
The post was shared to other social media platforms and gained a lot of traction. The comments were left by people from all walks of life – as if the story of kindness reached across every racial, cultural, locational, and spiritual divide.
“Yes, there’s a lot of good souls out here, more than people know because when done from the heart, they don’t speak about themselves, unlike others who do. It’s called staying humble. God bless this grandmother, and the kind manager who helped her,” one user commented.
“It’s so beautiful to me. That there are such caring people,” gushed another, “There are more and we need to hear more. I am tired of the negative stuff. Beautiful.” But, of course, there were some haters and trolls who just had to find something negative to say.
There’s Always One
“Could’ve gone to the market and gotten more for her money… I’m just saying,” one negative person sniped, only to be shut down instantly.
“Could have,” someone replied angrily, “but she didn’t have any money at all. someone else purchased the food and gas for her… her money won’t hit until the next day. she just needed to make it another day, and she was good.” But still, the hater had more to say.
“Well, if she shops at the market instead of fast food, the money wouldn’t have gone so fast in the first place… I’m just saying. Also, I wasn’t claiming to know anything about it… Just stating my opinion,” the negative woman retorted.
“It’s common sense that fast food is more expensive than buying at a grocery store, especially for a family. Use that common knowledge and apply it.” And, of course, there were also some cynics who commented too.
“God is good, but where are their parents… you gotta be careful. These people are out to scam us about some eight grandkids at home smh [shaking my head]. But God Bless that man’s heart,” one user warned.
Many people also started asking about the woman and if anyone knew her so they could help her, too. Unfortunately, nobody had any information. Then, the media became interested in the story.
Tracking Him Down
The viral post caught the attention of KHOU 11 – a popular media outlet in Houston. It wasn’t hard for them to track the kind manager down for an interview.
“We have our special on Wednesdays. Usually, the place is pretty packed,” the generous manager explained. “I noticed a lady came in,” he said. “She stood in line, and when it was her turn, she asked to speak to the manager privately.”
Pulling On His Heartstrings
The restaurant manager explained that the old woman’s sad story had really pulled on his heartstrings that day – nothing like this had ever happened to him before and he felt compelled to help her.
“It was not typical. Definitely not something you hear every day,” he said. And, when the woman had offered her ID and social security card as collateral and promised to pay him for the Wednesday $1,29 deal the next day, he became even more determined to help.
“But for someone to offer to give me her ID, her social security card, and she had little girls with her…” the manager explained in the interview. “
“She was really going through a tough time. She was pretty embarrassed. I said, ‘Don’t. We all go through tough times. I made her a big box, filled it up with chicken, anything I could find,” he said. “I put together a whole lot of small sides, a little bit of everything, some French fries.”
Her Reaction Was Worth It
Even though the manager had to pay for the food he donated out of his own pocket, he said the embarrassed woman’s reaction was completely worth it.
“She was so relieved,” he said. “She had a smile on her face. She was in awe, couldn’t believe someone would do that.” But, what the kind manager told her next brought her to tears.
We All Need Some Help Now And Then
“I told her if you’re ever in that situation again, just come back and see me. We’re here for you,” the manager told her. And that made the woman burst into tears of gratitude. “That makes me really happy… that they went home and all ate,” he explained. “We all need a little help now and then.”
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.