She lost her mother's wedding ring at Whataburger. These Family Members were determined to get it back.
It all started with Sara Ann Luther’s broken heart. But, thankfully, there was a Whataburger happily-ever-after in store.
On a June afternoon in Burnet, Texas, two men and one woman gathered in the sun-baked parking lot and methodically slit open bags of garbage from the Whataburger dumpster.
Together, they shook out each bag and sifted through half-full tubs of Spicy Ketchup, stained tray liners, and cups of melting ice.
All on the hunt for a ring that had slipped off Sara Ann Luther’s finger.
The simple diamond solitaire engagement ring had belonged to Luther’s mom, who died in 2014. Luther’s dad purchased it in 1964 with money he earned selling raccoon hides.
“I’ve worn it on my finger every day for almost five years,” Luther says.
But that day, it went missing after she and her husband, Jim, ate lunch at Whataburger.
A Call for Help
Panicked, Luther returned to the restaurant to search for the ring. She was ready to roll up her sleeves and scour every inch of the restaurant.
But General Manager Shaun Dilworth told her he would do the dirty work. He called in his wife, Jessica Featherston, to help. And Janos Bajnoczy, the assistant manager, dove in, too.
It was a no-brainer for Dilworth. “My wife wears a ring that was passed down from my grandparents,” he says. “If she lost it, I would want someone to help us look for it.”
Together, the three of them spread cardboard around the dumpster, pulled out the garbage bags and sifted through the day’s trash.
“I’ve had experience doing this,” Dilworth says. About a year ago, he helped find a customer’s dentures in the garbage. “I understand how expensive or how meaningful things are to people. And if it happens to me, I hope the good karma will come back to me.”
But despite hours of searching, the ring did not turn up.
That’s when Bajnoczy took one more look in the women’s restroom. And there, tucked in the folds of the plastic trash bag, was the ring.
“They could have just said that was bad luck for me and not looked,” Luther says. “But they did what they said they would do. And they did it with so much care, and they don’t even know me.”
The customers are what Whataburger’s all about, Dilworth says. “If it weren’t for the customers, we wouldn’t be here as a business.”
Whataburger has focused on its fresh, made-to-order burgers and friendly customer service since 1950 when Harmon Dobson opened the first Whataburger as a small roadside burger stand in Corpus Christi, Texas. Today, the company is headquartered in San Antonio with more than 900 locations across its 14-state footprint and sales of more than $3 billion annually. Whataburger is a 2022 Top Workplaces winner. The brand has more than 50,000 Family Members (employees) and more than 60 million customers who like to customize their Whataburgers just like they like it. Visit whataburger.com for more information. To apply for Whataburger jobs, visit whataburger.com/careers.