Paying it forward: Customer’s good deed lasts all day at one diner


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita diner experienced a chain reaction when one good deed led to a day of paying it forward.

Kelly’s Family Diner, 2131 S. Broadway, opened at 7 a.m. on Thursday, which started off as an ordinary day, but things changed a couple of hours later when a customer paid for another family’s meal.

“About 9:30, two of my regular customers had paid for another lady and three of her kids and after they left, I went and told her, ‘Don’t worry about your ticket, somebody’s already covered it,'” said Kelly Wilson, owner of Kelly’s Family Diner. “She’s like, ‘Oh my goodness, this is the second time it’s happened since I’ve been here.’ She was like, ‘I don’t want to break the chain, let’s keep it going.'”

Wilson says the rest of the day became somewhat of a routine, going from one table to the next to tell her customers their bill had already been paid, but what she didn’t anticipate was their reaction.

“Everybody that paid it forward paid more than what their bill would’ve been,” said Wilson. “People do it all the time, but normally it will stop after 1 or 2, but it just went all throughout the whole day, until about 2:50, that was our last customer.”

One customer who’s been going to the diner since it opened says she enjoyed finding out her meal was paid for, but she was even more thrilled that she could join in on the fun.

“There was a gentleman in here having lunch, and so we paid for his and his was pretty cheap, so I just said, ‘Well here,’ I gave her a 20 and I said, ‘Just keep the rest,’ and some other man came in, she said about 2:50 and got his meal paid for,” said Theresa Mefford, El Dorado resident. “That was cool that we got to participate with that.”

Wilson says everyone was overwhelmed with emotions. She is happy that something so great happened in her restaurant.

“My heart was just filled with happiness, I couldn’t believe it went throughout the day,” said Wilson.


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