He received a bag of Reese's, a Starbucks reusable cup, two pens, and one movie ticket as a reward for his services.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on July 6, 2022. It has since been updated.
A Burger King employee who received a cheap goodie bag as acknowledgment for 27 years of service has now received more than $400,000 in donations. “It’s like a dream come true,” said Kevin Ford, the employee, reported TODAY. “It’s overwhelming, especially the support I’m receiving every day. It’s awesome.” The goodie bag was sent from HMS Host, the company from which Burger King hires staff. The bag contained a bag of Reese's, a Starbucks reusable cup, two pens, and one movie ticket, reported TMZ. Ford, who works as a cashier and cook at Burger King at Las Vegas airport, said he felt like the company sent him stuff "they had lying around." Despite being disappointed by the gift, Ford was still grateful to Burger King because that's the kind of person he is. "I'm happy about anything, I'm thankful for anything I get, I'm not that type of person, believe me. I've been through a lot. It's a great company, you know, I've been there 27 years. But like most big corporations, they've kind of lost touch with their workers, and through Covid and whatever, they started cutting out programs," he said.
"We used to get cheques for 20 years, and that's what I actually thought that movie ticket was. I was like 'hey, they finally gave me my card', and then I saw it was not even two movie tickets—it was one. So I was like 'this is just too much', and [it seemed] it was just stuff they had laying around that they put together," he said. After Ford shared the video of his goodie bag, people were shocked and angered on his behalf for being given such a paltry gift for someone who had spent nearly three decades in their service. A GoFundMe campaign was started to remind Ford that he was much more valued. The campaign has now raised more than $400,000. "My father worked at his job for 27 years and yes, he has never missed a day of work. He originally began working at this job as a single father when he gained custody of me and my older sister 27 years ago," wrote his daughter, Seryna Ford. "My dad continues to work here because though he does look young, he is coming up on retirement age, and leaving would cost him his retirement," read the description.
One of the biggest donations came from actor and comedian David Spade. As we reported, he donated $5,000 to the GoFundMe campaign and also dropped him a message on Instagram. It was Ford's daughter who told him Spade had made a donation. When Ford checked his Instagram messages, he saw a message from the actor, congratulating him. Ford replied, “Holy s**t dude!!! Cannot Believe This!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH For even Watching the Video! I Love You My Brother!!! Much Love and God Bless... I think might be able to take a Day Off...” Spade joked, “Wait till year 30.” Ford chuckled and replied, “Damn, Are You One Of My Managers??? Thank You Again Sir, You're the Best. Have A Great Day...”
Burger King tried to play down the incident after the video gained attention online. The fast-food chain said the gifts were in HMS Host packaging and were just a “peer-to-peer reward in recognition of a short-term positive performance/experience." The company claimed it recognized the milestones of employees. “The franchisee offers its Team Members a robust employee recognition program, which includes the recognition of tenure milestones and monetary awards,” said the spokesperson.
Ford also had an emotional moment on national TV as he was reunited with his daughter Seryna and his three grandchildren, who he hadn’t seen in four years. “It means a lot to us,” said Seryna, referring to the love being showered on her father. “My dad deserves the world … he made me the person that I am.”