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This Man Went From No Customers To 500 Thanks To A Single Facebook Post

"I have a big heart and want people to do well."

This is 31-year-old Colin Ross. Like so many others in Alberta, he was laid off from his job in the oil industry. But thanks to him, the fortunes of another down-on-their-luck Lethbridge resident have turned around.

Colin Ross

Last Saturday he visited Whitbie's Fish & Chips for the first time. "I just came in and walked in the door and saw this old guy just sitting there in a chair," Ross told BuzzFeed Canada. "There wasn’t another soul in the place."

Colin Ross

That guy was 69-year-old John McMillan, a Scottish immigrant and owner of the restaurant.

Ross ate some "spectacular" halibut and noticed the place was clean and well taken care of.

Colin Ross

"I was just blown away," he said. So he asked where everyone was and McMillan said he'd been struggling to get people in the door.

"He said he hasn’t been able to pay himself, and the last few months have been the worst he’s ever been though," said Ross.

Ross, who has a background in marketing, offered to help McMillan out but he turned Ross down. "He just kind of sloughed me off and I hemmed and hawed about it and I thought, 'I’ll make a nice social media post for him.'"

He posted a photo of the shop with a plea for people to pay McMillan a visit.

"Anyone who knows me, I have a big heart and want people to do well," wrote Ross, "especially a 70-year-old man who has put in his time."

"The owner was a gem, real classy stand-up guy, so I ask everyone in Lethbridge to share this and go support this hard working gentleman," he wrote.

And it blew up. The post has been shared more than 8,000 times and people are flocking to Whitbie's. On Tuesday, more than 400 visited, followed by 500 the next day.

Colin Ross

After years of hard work, Ross says McMillan deserves it.

"He's just really good-hearted, super awesome guy. I got a really good vibe right off the bat," said Ross.

Whitbie's is so busy now that there was a line out the door and filling the parking lot on Wednesday.

Colin Ross

McMillan is now handling the biggest crowds he's had in seven years of business.

Global News / Via

McMillan told Global News it had always been his dream to open a fish and chips restaurant and now, thanks to Ross's post, hundreds of people are now enjoying that dream.

“He did it out of the goodness of his heart and Lethbridge came and did it out of the goodness of their hearts,” McMillan told Global.

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