Via Indy Star:
When it’s time for lunch at Chick-fil-A in Avon, it’s all hands on deck as the employees try to get through the rush before they can see their favorite customer, Fox 59 reports.
“If we can get to Ernie, it’s been a good day,” laughed owner Chris Tincher.
Ernie, a World War II veteran, first came to the restaurant about a year ago. He comes back nearly every day of the week.
“I like nuggets,” Ernie said with a smile. “And if you want a good one, this is the place to come.”
“He’s just like the all-American grandpa,” Tincher said. “He just makes you feel good.”
At 92 years old, Ernie still drives and works around the house
“We were just fascinated because he’s always like ‘oh I just mowed my lawn,’” Executive Director Melissa Luebbert said. “And he push-mows!”
Every visit, Ernie orders his chicken nugget kid’s meal with a root beer.
“It’s the best root beer in town,” said Ernie
While Ernie sits down to enjoy his meal, he’s joined by other employees who take him up in conversation.
“All of us take turns sitting with him and eating with him,” said team leader Amy Chambliss. “We just enjoy his company.”
“He’s just so warm,” Luebbert said. “Anytime you take his food to him, he’d ask how we were doing, and then it got to where we just formed a friendship.”
It’s a friendship that went a step further this Veterans Day, when Luebbert, Tincher and employee James Cooke had an idea.
“James came up with a really good idea as we were thinking of how to honor you,” Tincher said in the video posted to Facebook. “He said ‘what if when Ernie came in, he never had to pay for Chick-fil-A again, when he came to our restaurant?’ So that was James’ idea, he wanted to honor you. So we wanted to say every time you come into this restaurant, you’re family now. So you no longer have to pay for any of your meals.”