How a Frosty Key Tag Led to An Act of Kindness
Living Dave's Values by Giving Back
As we get ready to celebrate our 50th anniversary, we’re recounting some of our favorite Wendy’s tales. From Frosty lore to stories that illustrate how Dave’s values have touched people throughout the organization and beyond, we’re excited to continue this monthly series.
Our founder Dave Thomas lived by a set of values that incorporated quality, integrity, respect, opportunity and responsibility. As members of the Wendy’s® family, we share an accountability to practice these values every day and use them to Delight Every Customer. Whether you are a member of a restaurant team, a Wendy’s franchisee, work for The Wendy’s Company, or are one of our many supplier partners, we all work towards the same goal to make Dave proud.
Scott Youtsey is a member of the Wendy’s supplier family as National Account Manager for Rubbermaid Commercial Products. Scott recently shared his story about the impact of Dave’s values and how he was able to ‘Give Something Back’ to one Wendy’s customer.
A Simple Act of Kindness
I had recently left a sales call in the north Atlanta, GA area and was heading back to my home office when I passed a Wendy’s restaurant. It was a hot summer afternoon and I decided to use my Frosty Key Tag to brighten my day. The restaurant was busy and even though I was in a hurry, I just got this feeling that I should go inside. I sat in my car for a minute and finally decided to go in and get a late lunch and enjoy that Frosty® at the end.
While I was enjoying my Dave’s Single® with cheese, I noticed a guy pacing back and forth on his cell phone. I couldn’t help but overhear as he told the caller that he was a bit lost but would find a way to meet her at 2 p.m. as promised. When he hung up, he had a look of despair and dejection on his face, along with a few tears. He looked around the room as if to say ‘someone please help me.’ I couldn’t help but reach out to the man and offered to look up his destination and directions on my phone since all he had was a flip phone.
The man’s name was Reggie and he recently moved to Atlanta with the hope of a fresh start in life. Through a local church, he was able to get a job on the Macy’s loading dock, but he didn’t have his own car and needed to take Atlanta’s mass transit system (MARTA) to work. The person he was trying to meet was someone from that church who was going to help him purchase a two month MARTA pass. Unfortunately, she had a pretty tight schedule that day and when he told me he was going to have to walk to the church to meet her, I knew he’d never make it in time. With that, I told him to grab his bag and I’d drive him.
Sometimes When One Door Closes, a Window Opens
For anyone that knows Atlanta, it doesn’t matter what time of day it is…traffic is always bad. I suggested he call her back to let her know that we would be a few min late, but the call went straight to voice mail. We arrived at the church at 2:07 p.m. and unfortunately the woman wasn’t there, but she left note on the front door of the church that read ‘Reggie, I’m sorry I could not wait any longer for you, but I want to wish you the best of luck and perhaps we could reschedule a meeting in a few days.’ Needless to say, he was devastated and emotional.
If getting the money for a MARTA pass was the only reason for meeting her, then that was no problem...I would make it happen. Now, all we had to do was find an ATM in middle of a very congested area of Atlanta. In what some might call divine intervention, I saw an ATM just around the corner that happened to have one open parking spot right in front. Not only that, two doors down from that ATM was a MARTA station where he could purchase the pass and take the train back home.
Before Reggie got out of my car, we sat and talked for a few minutes, then he gave me a bear hug and we went on our separate ways. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell my family about the unique opportunity that was given to me to serve. It was a very special afternoon in my life and I reflect on it often. I don’t know where Reggie is today, but very much appreciate him being part of my life, if only for a short period of time.
When I was circling that Wendy’s restaurant, something was tapping me on the shoulder and telling me to go in and get that Frosty. Maybe it was my sweet tooth, maybe it was God, or perhaps it was the spirit of Dave Thomas reminding me to ‘Give Something Back.’ Sometimes we have to look hard for that opportunity to serve and sometimes we don’t…but I’m grateful for my afternoon with Reggie.