“Life is valuable, have a great day.”

Don’t drink and drive; get a free meal. Sounds like a pretty solid deal.

That simple, potentially life-saving gesture, is how the Union Bar and Grill in Gering, Nebraska likes to operate. The restaurant doesn’t tow vehicles that remain in their parking lot overnight. Instead, its owners reward their patrons who leave their wheels behind by giving them a free meal when they return to pick up their car.

Scott and Carla Swanson, owners of the eatery, leave a kind note on the windshield of the cars left overnight with instructions to, “Bring this letter to the bar and we will give you a free Hamburger and French Fries.”

“Just wanted to thank you for leaving your car parked overnight instead of driving home drunk,” they wrote in a note they left on a customer’s car recently named Austin. “I’m not quite sure if you have consumed some alcohol at our restaurant or not, but we want to thank you for not drunk driving.”

Austin’s friend, Janelle Martin, posted the letter on Facebook with the caption, “More bars and restaurants should take note from Scott and Carla Swanson. Austin met a friend at the bar last night so he left his truck there and I picked him up. He found the note on his truck this morning when I took him to go get it from the parking lot.”


Every day, almost 29 people in the United States die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, meaning that kind gestures from people like the Swansons have the potential to make a huge impact. Given the choice between free lunch and a risky ride, who wouldn’t rather the hamburger and French fries?

The Swansons’ sign off drove their point home.

They ended the letter with, “Please accept this as a thank you for being responsible. Life is valuable, have a great day.”

Cover image via Shutterstock / Joseph Sohm.