A Burger King employee who recently marked his 27th work anniversary is going viral after sharing the underwhelming “gift” he received for the milestone.
Kevin Ford, 54 years old, worked nearly 30 years as a cook and cashier in the Burger King at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. He was a hardworking employee who never took a day of leave.
HMS Host, the company from which the fast-food chain hires, showed their appreciation for Kevin’s service by rewarding him with a goodie bag filled with assorted items.
The clear, plastic backpack contained a single movie ticket, a bag of Reese’s Pieces, two rolls of Lifesavers, and a Starbucks reusable tumbler.
Kevin created a TikTok that showed the contents of his bag. He was grateful for the gift but his post was filled with negative comments about the company.
Many users felt that the reward didn’t measure up to the employee’s hard work over the last three decades.
“You deserve so much more for your dedication to the company. Hoping this post brings you something special & deserving of you.”
“Being so grateful for receiving so little for 27 years of hard work. Blessing are coming your way!”
After reading through the comments, Kevin’s daughter, Seryna Ford, set up a GoFundMe for her dad.
Seryna mentioned that her father was a single father who started working at Burger King when he took custody of her and her older sibling 27 years ago.
Kevin remarried after their family grew, but he kept working at the restaurant because of the health insurance provided by his employer. This covered all of his children’s high school and college years with full healthcare coverage.
“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,” Seryna wrote on the fundraiser page.
“In no way are we asking for money or is he expecting any money but if anyone feels like blessing him he would love to visit his grandchildren.”
Seryna raised the GoFundMe goal to $250,000. The drive has raised nearly $240,000 at the time of writing, and it’s still climbing.
David Spade was a top donor, giving a staggering $5,000. Kevin was also congratulated by the comedian via Instagram.
“Keep up the good work. 27 years,” wrote the Saturday Night Live alum.
Kevin spoke out about how grateful he is for the support he has received from kind strangers over the internet in a phone conversation with TODAY
“I’ve been crying for about two days now. It’s just incredible,” he said. “I just go to work and try to have fun and laugh and make other people’s day good. It’s like I’ve been in a dream for almost two days now. It’s just so beautiful and awesome. It really is.”
Burger King issued a statement in response to the matter to People magazine
“Following review with this location’s franchisee, we’ve learned that this video depicts a Team Member in receipt of a peer-to-peer reward in recognition of a short-term positive performance/experience. The franchisee offers its Team Members a robust employee recognition program, which includes the recognition of tenure milestones and monetary awards.”
HMS Host also issued a statement on the matter
“The goodie bag Mr. Ford received was something we call a Shout Out, which is recognition and appreciation from his peers,” a company spokesperson told TODAY.
“HMSHost is pleased that its award-winning ‘Shout Out’ employee recognition program was used to celebrate one of our long-tenured and dedicated associates, Kevin Ford, for his teamwork and great attitude.”
The party also mentioned that the “Shout Out” program is different from HMS Host’s company service anniversary program, which celebrates employee tenure milestones.
“This recognition of Mr. Ford by another employee captures the essence of our culture of appreciation, caring and inclusion and reflects the best of our company — our people,” they added.
“Mr. Ford is a valued associate and member of an honored group of employees that have worked for us for many years.”
As for what he plans to do with the money, Kevin said he hasn’t thought about it yet, but he’s looking forward to paying off bills and visiting his daughter Seryna and his grandkids, two girls aged six and eight.
Kevin is also grateful to his daughter, who was the catalyst.
“I can’t repay her, you know? Because she is why I do everything — her and my other daughters and now my grandkids,” he said. “I really can’t put into words how much I love my family.”
Congratulations, Kevin. This is a well-deserved blessing!
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