Trucker Justin Martin from Ontario, Canada, was passing through Ohio on March 23 when he stopped in Circleville, a busy town which looked like a ghost town with a few other trucks parked there and all the restaurants closed except for Wendy’s.
With no other choices left to explore, Martin decided to enter it and found the dining room closed. Soon an employee opened the drive-thru window and let him know that they were closed and had just tossed all the leftover food.
Martin was now facing a night with no hot food, but the employee thought for a moment and told him to hang on a moment.
She went and got the manager, 19-year-old Zach Meadows. When Meadows heard about Martin’s plight, he went to speak to the trucker himself.
“We had actually been closed for about 5-10 minutes,” Meadows said. “When I approached the window and began talking to the man, I found out that he was a truck driver. He asked if it was a problem because he hadn’t really eaten all day. I told him to give me a second and asked if he wanted something to drink.”
“He told me he wanted a small root beer, but I [gave] him a large since he’s on the road eight to nine hours a day,” he said. “I just wanted to do what I could to help. He tried to pay me, but I refused. I told him, ‘It’s free for us, so it should be free to you.’”
Although Meadows was breaking the rules by giving Martin food free of charge, but he decided that helping out a trucker in these turbulent times was more important than following general rules. He said, “rules are rules, but sometimes being a good person just outweighs the consequences.”
Martin ended up getting a variety of food and a large soda, and was so touched by the kindness of the Circleville Wendy’s, that he filmed a video in his truck, telling the world about what had happened and publicly thanking the young manager and two employees.
A huge thank you to the night manager and staff at Wendy's of Circleville …He even wished me safe travels as I walked away. Kudos.
Posted by Justin Martin on Monday, March 23, 2020
“To me, Zach is the perfect example of an Ohioan — the bread and butter, blue collar people, who love their state and have a lot of pride in who they are when they represent their state,” Martin said. “Once this video got out, Ohioans were really proud of Zach. They were so proud that a truck driver got treated that way by one of their own and that’s exactly what Zach is — he is an Ohioan.”
“It’s all about Zach and his staff that night. The girl working the window went to get Zach [even] after she told me that she was sorry because they had already thrown out all the extra food. I was ready to walk away, but she told me to hold on a minute.”
“Even the other kid working the drink dispenser was adamant that I was going to have a soda, and I don’t even really drink soda,” he said. “It was just the fact that they wouldn’t let me go without one.”
The video started circulating, and soon it was seen by Meadows and his superiors as well, but he didn’t get in trouble for his actions.
“When I woke up the next morning, I had all these text messages; people trying to call me, including the vice president of Wendy’s; all my fellow managers congratulating me,” he said. “It was humbling for sure. At noon the next day the video had about 75,000 views.”
“Truck drivers are working their tails off right now with the situation we’re dealing with,” he added. “It was just a little token of appreciation that went a long way, something I could do to make sure he was fed that night.”
“I don’t want to turn anyone away from not eating — no matter who they are or what they do — it’s something I would’ve done regardless of our situation.”
Martin wants all the attention to benefit Meadows, and Meadows wants that people will be inspired by the video “to do nice things for the people around them.”