Family Visits Restaurant after House Fire. That’s When Manager Gives Them the Bill

Family Visits Restaurant after House Fire Thats When Manager Gives Them the Bill

It’s not rare to see someone has posted a receipt on social media. Waitresses, bad parents and breastfeeding moms share disparaging notes left on receipts and bad tippers are called out. This time however, a receipt is posted to give kudos to a restaurant, and it took Reddit by storm.

Seth McClure of DeKalb, Illinois, posted his receipt and then went to bed. The next morning he was shocked to see the response he had received.

Seth was out to dinner at the Vernon Hills, Olive Garden with his brother, wife and 3-year-old daughter. They were talking about the recent tragic event of their parents’ house burning down.

Seth’s mother who suffers from ALS became stranded in the burning building, apparently in an attempt to help Seth’s father. His brother and his mom’s caregiver were trapped on the second story balcony. Right as they were contemplating jumping, the fire trucks showed up and rescued them.

His mother, Renee, suffered a broken shoulder bone and had to be hospitalized. However the tragic fire and loss of the house ended up being a blessing. While Renee was in the hospital, doctors discovered an issue with her trachea. Seth said, “Had it [not] been discovered at the house, [it] would have almost certainly caused her to die. In a way, the fire saved her life.”

As the family discussed the events, the manager came around to ask how everyone was doing. That’s when the 3-year-old said, “Grandpa’s house burned down.”

The manager asked about the family and if they had a place to stay. Seth thought it was just a conversation until the check came and he saw they owed nothing. “I did not expect the bill to get paid, but it was very nice of them!” he said.

After posting the receipt on Reddit, Seth caught some flak from naysayers, but Reddit admins stepped in and after some fact checking, the story was verified. Darden’s Olive Garden media rep, Tara Gray, quickly responded to the host of Google Plus Week, and publisher, Dan McDermott.

Gray said, “The receipt is real and was posted by the guests, not by anyone at Olive Garden or Darden.  We are always looking for ways to surprise and delight our guests, and this was one of the ways the Olive Garden team in Vernon Hills, Ill., did that last weekend.”

In the end, Seth’s receipt was viewed over 2 million times and he received thousands of messages in his inbox. The kindness and generosity of the Olive Garden was showcased and set an example for others to follow.

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