A Canadian restaurant that had trouble staying afloat has become quite the catch, thanks to a simple Facebook post.
After Colin Ross, 31, decided to eat at a struggling shop called Whitbie’s Fish & Chips following a long night out, he fell in love with the food. But the patron was discouraged to find that John McMillan, the shop’s 69-year-old owner, couldn’t even afford to pay himself.
So last weekend, Ross wrote a rave review, calling on people across Facebook to check out the shop. And days later, McMillan watched as hundreds visited his restaurant and revived his Lethbridge, Alberta business.
McMillan told Global News that he’s moved by this outpouring of generosity from the community.
“He did it out of the goodness of his heart and Lethbridge came and did it out of the goodness of their hearts,” the proud owner said of Ross and his other patrons.
About 400 people showed up to the fish and chips shop shortly after Ross’ post went up. The day after, a whopping 500 people showed up to support the restaurant, BuzzFeed reported. McMillan has even had to hire another chef to keep up with business, CTV noted.
“Our business has just gone right through the roof to the point where, you know, we’ve got people waiting an hour and a half to an hour and three quarters for their dinner,” he told the Calgary Eyeopener.
Whitbie’s has come a long way from where it was just a few weeks ago. The owner, who’s originally from Scotland, explained to Global News that much of his business’ struggles are due to a bad location.
“People don’t know where I am,” he told the outlet. “The last three months here have been absolutely horrible, just horrible.”
When Ross made his first visit to the restaurant in search of a hangover cure, he said he didn’t see anyone else there besides McMillan. The customer, who ordered a halibut special, was both pleased with the food and touched by the owner’s personality. And though McMillan initially refused Ross’ offer to help, the patron went ahead and shared his thoughts of the shop on Facebook.
“The owner was a gem, real classy stand-up guy, so I ask everyone in Lethbridge to share this and go support this hard working gentleman,” he wrote.
The post has received thousands of shares from people across the social media site. With business now booming, McMillan told the Calgary Eyeopener that he’s bursting with community pride.
“The people of Alberta just come together,” he said. “This is the greatest province and the greatest country.”