Note: we are republishing this story to highlight drinking responsibly as we approach the holiday season, which happens to be the deadliest time when it comes to drunk driving.
A Nebraska bar has adopted a creative reward system to thank patrons who don’t drive after drinking.
Union Bar and Grill in Gering puts a letter on the windshield of cars left in the lot overnight after their owners have a few drinks. The letter is good for a free burger and fries. The bar has been using this system for a couple of years.
A woman whose husband got the letter posted it on Facebook, garnering over 24,000 likes and over 53,000 shares. Janelle Martin stated that she posted the letter because she considers it a good example of a bar trying to keep people safe.
Scott Swanson, who owns the bar with his wife, Carla, stated that they’ve received Facebook messages from people across the country thanking him following Martin’s post. He added that most messages were from people who’d lost a loved one to a drunken driver. “It’s a $7 burger, and if it keeps someone out of jail or keeps someone from killing someone, it’s damn well worth it,” he said.
Swanson stated that his wife came up with the idea two years ago after she saw something online about a bar making a similar proposition to customers. He stated that he leaves the letters on windshields on weekend mornings, when eight to 10 cars belonging to customers are in the parking lot. He revealed that he doesn’t leave the letters every weekend. He hopes that other bars will adopt the idea.
The letter reads: “Dear Union Bar and Grill Park Guest, Just wanted to thank you for leaving your car parked overnight. I’m not sure if you consumed alcohol at our restaurant or not, but we want to thank you for not drinking and driving. Bring this letter to the bar and we will give you a hamburger and French fries. Please accept this as a thank you for being responsible. Life is valuable, have a great day.”
When asked how many patrons take up the free food offer, Swanson said: “100 percent.”
Sources: Omaha World-Herald