News / Edmonton

Restaurant manager leaves note thanking driver for not driving home drunk

Jay McLean says he's been leaving notes for more than a year. "[Drunk driving] is preventable. It's was really that simple."

The note that OJ's manager Jay McLean left on a customer's vehicle went viral after a customer posted it online.

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The note that OJ's manager Jay McLean left on a customer's vehicle went viral after a customer posted it online.

A customer who recently left their car overnight at the Original Joe’s in Sherwood Park got a surprise when they returned for it: a friendly note from the manager, and an offer for free chicken wings.

“Just wanted to thank you for leaving your car parked overnight. I’m not sure if you’ve consumed alcohol at our restaurant or not, but we wanted to thank you for not drinking and driving,” reads the note, signed by manager Jay McLean.

“Life is valuable, have a great weekend.”

McLean started working at the Sherwood Park location about a year and a half ago, and said he's been handing out similar letters almost right from the start.

The restaurant shares a parking lot with other businesses so he doesn’t leave a note on every car, but does when he’s pretty sure it’s been there all night.

He figures he’s handed out about 15 since he started.

“We work in kind of a rural setting where transit is not as readily available, so a lot of people drive here,” he said.

McLean said he heard about a restaurant in Ontario doing something similar, so the long-time restaurant employee figured it’d be another way to help his customers out.

“Knock on wood, [drunk driving] isn’t something that’s affected my life, it’s just something that’s preventable,” he said. “It was really that simple.”

After someone posted a picture of the note online the story went viral Wednesday, leaving McLean worried that people would get the wrong idea.

“There really was no ulterior motive,” he said.

“I’m just a guy running a restaurant. I have a lot of regular clientele and we see their faces all the time. I want to continue seeing them.”

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