It was a nippy winter day on the afternoon of January 7th and many folks had taken refuge from the cold by grabbing lunch at the Chick-fil-A on Highway 280 in Inverness.
One of the diners who came in that day was a homeless man. The man first made eye contact with Mark Meadows, the manager of the Chick-fil-A.
“I was about to leave when this gentleman walked in the door, I could tell he needed some help. We have people come in from time to time – so you kind of know.”
And sure enough, Mark’s instinct was correct.
“He asked if there was some work he could do so that he could get something to eat.” It would not be unusual for a person like that to be escorted out of a restaurant. But the Chick-fil-A on Highway 280 is no ordinary restaurant. Last year, when a freak snowstorm hit the city, Meadows and his staff personally fed hundreds of motorists trapped in their cars – free of charge.
So instead of ordering the man to leave, Mark invited him to have a meal. As the man waited for his chicken sandwich and waffle fries. But the kindness did not stop there. Mark could not help but notice the man was rubbing his hands together trying to keep them warm. He did not have a pair of gloves. So Mark gave him his.
“I went back and got his food and he put on the gloves and then he left,” Mark said.
Andrea Stoker happened to be eating lunch in the restaurant that day with her little boy. And she could not help but notice the interaction between the store owner and the disheveled man. She took a photograph and posted a message on her Facebook page – a message that has since gone viral.
Here’s what she wrote:
“Bryson and I are sitting in Chick Fil A on 280. A man walked in to get warm with all of his earthly possessions on his back. The manager, who is on his break, got up and asked the man if he could get him anything. Before the man could even answer, the manager asked if the man had any gloves and handed him his, then got him the meal of his choice. There is still so much good in this world and I’m so grateful that Bryson saw it all unfold.”
Mark said he had no idea that anyone was watching or that anyone took a photograph.
“She was in tears,” he said. “She was very appreciative for what I had done – and she said she used it as a teaching moment for her son.”
So why is Chick-fil-A so generous?
Well, Mark told FOX’s Todd Starnes it’s the same reason they gave away all those chicken sandwiches during last year’s blizzard.
“It all comes from Truett Cathy and the Cathy family and the principles Chick-fil-A has been established on,” he said.
And those principles are “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.”
Mark said he’d never seen the man before last week and has not seen him since.
“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.” -Hebrews 13:2