One day, Ridge Quarles, a staff member at a Kentucky restaurant, recognized a loyal customer arrive. But this time, the patron wanted some extra help with her meal, and the worker didn’t hesitate to assist. Little did they know that there was someone covertly recording the whole thing.
Ridge Quarles is a man from Kentucky. Back in 2015 he was working at a fast-food restaurant in Louisville, serving Mexican food to his customers. But something happened one day at work that was rather out of the ordinary.
Quarles had worked at Qdoba Mexican Grill for about five years, and naturally, over that time he had gotten to know some of the customers. In fact, Quarles and his colleagues had even gotten to the point where they could remember what their patrons preferred to order.
Then, one day, a regular customer arrived at the restaurant. Quarles knew instantly what she would want to order. “She’s been in so many times that we actually know exactly what she wants to eat,” Quarles told the Daily Mail in May 2015.
It was always a taco salad, dripping in hot sauce and topped with cheese, if it was a lunchtime visit. Otherwise, for dinner, she would order a burrito with the same garnishes. On this occasion in particular, it was time for a burrito.
However, this time, Quarles got a bit more involved than he usually did with his customers. That’s because the woman who ordered the burrito was not quite a typical patron. She was disabled and needed a little extra help.
Usually, when the woman came to visit the Mexican restaurant, she would travel by bus. It was a vehicle specially designed for adults with disabilities. But when she arrived, she often got stuck outside, sitting in her wheelchair.
The woman would often have to wait for someone to help her inside before she could order her favorite items off the menu. But she always used to tell Quarles how much she liked the food there. That’s why she kept on coming back
Quarles told WAVE3 News how she would describe Qdoba Mexican Grill as her “most favorite place to eat.” Although the staff never learned her name, they always recognized her when she came in. But then, on this particular day, the woman asked Quarles for something.
As Quarles was getting the table ready, the woman asked him if he would help her. “Sir, if you don’t mind could you help me eat?” she said. By this point, the restaurant worker had already assisted her with the order and gone to fetch her a drink and a napkin.
But he graciously agreed to help the woman eat her meal too. Quarles grabbed some gloves and began helping the woman with her burrito. He hadn’t even thought twice about it, but he seriously impressed one of the people around him.
While Quarles was feeding the woman, there was someone watching from the other side of the restaurant. His name was David Jones, and he was also enjoying a meal at the restaurant. But what he liked the most was watching Quarles help the woman.
That’s why he decided to document what was going on. Jones was so touched by Quarles’ kind nature that he covertly filmed the interaction so that he could show his buddies later. He wanted to show them that there are “still some good people in the world.”
But the video didn’t stay just between friends. Jones ended up posting in on social media, where it quickly snowballed. People loved it. And before long, it had gone totally viral. Quarles quickly became a bit of a social media sensation.
However, Quarles didn’t seem to see what all the fuss was about. “I mean, she needs help. And if I wasn’t going to do it, no one was. Who else is going to do it?” he said during an interview with a local news outlet, WAVE. For the restaurant worker, it was clearly a no-brainer to step in and help.
“He [Quarles] didn’t stop to think about it,” recalled the impressed onlooker, Jones. “It seems to me that if everybody in the world would just use a little simple gift that they have to maybe benefit somebody else, just think what the world would be like,” he continued.
The online community was full of praise for Quarles too. “I don’t think there is anything much more beautiful than human kindness and compassion. Way to go, kid and good luck to you!” wrote one Daily Mail reader.
“His parents should be very proud of him as we all are,” commented another person who was also touched by Quarles’ actions that day. “I also wish this man all the best in the future as he rare commodity these days.”
Quarles made quite an impression that day. He left his job at Qdoba Mexican Grill a short while later, to work for a web design company instead. But it’s certainly safe to say that he exited his old job on a real high.
What Quarles did for that customer just goes to show how simple it is to make a big difference in another person’s life. He probably had other customers he should have tended to, or washing up that needed to be done. But instead he showed great compassion that should serve to inspire others.