‘Love Your Neighbor’ in full effect at Red Bank restaurant

By Natalie Szrajer
Posted 2/1/24

An anonymous person purchased $500 worth of meals at Hwy. 55 Burgers, Shakes and Fries in Red Bank. 

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‘Love Your Neighbor’ in full effect at Red Bank restaurant


An anonymous person purchased $500 worth of meals at Hwy. 55 Burgers, Shakes and Fries in Red Bank. 

What would inspire such a thing to happen? The Lexington County franchise location’s Love Your Neighbor Meal Board.

In addition to the $500 donation, Hwy. 55 franchise owner Jay Webb said of contributions, “I’d say well over 500 meals since Thanksgiving.” “Initially [this person] spent $100 and then returned about an hour later and asked to buy another $400 worth,” said Webb, who’s been with the Red Bank location since 2012 and with the company overall since 2006. “We split it up into a mix of kids’ meals, burger meals and hot dog meals. It was something like 60 to 70 meals total.”

It’s not just local people paying for a meal and sticking it on the board next to the restaurant’s ever-present Christmas tree. Webb said his cousin from Texas bought a couple of meals to donate.

The meal board is a simple concept but something that Webb initially struggled to get started. It wasn’t until talking with a friend who told Webb, “I’ll go next door and just buy a poster board,” that the concept got rolling. One poster board later and a drawing of the Love Your Neighbor logo by Webb’s wife, Heather, and the idea took off. The logo is a heart around the letters “YN” with a serving hand underneath it all.

The Love Your Neighbor concept is part of Hwy. 55 and can be found on their website. 

According to their website, “It’s a way of thinking and an icon emblazoned on all of our correspondence, menus and even uniforms. To us, as members of the Hwy. 55 family, this icon reminds us of our responsibility to serve each other and our guests with authentic hospitality.”

The meal board, however, was an idea that Webb found perusing social media.

“Someone shared a post and it stayed in the back of my mind,” said Webb, explaining it was for a pizza place out of state. “The support was there but I had to figure out how to pull it off.”

Not only has the meal board taken off, it’s allowed Webb to have conversations and interactions that may not have otherwise crossed his path. He said there are homeless or displaced people around the Red Bank area where his restaurant is, and it’s allowed them to get a meal or drink. 

But it’s not just an initiative to help the homeless.

People are able to pay for a meal and then stick the receipt on the poster board. The receipt has “paid” written on it and anyone can come in and enjoy a meal paid for by a stranger. 

“We’ve become a place where people know you can eat here whether you’re a millionaire or you can’t afford [much],” Webb said. “I’ve always wanted to own a place where people feel welcome and the restaurant isn’t losing money. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

He added that he knows not all restaurants are able to utilize this concept, at least how he has it in his restaurant. 

Even before the meal board was enacted at the Red Bank Hwy. 55, he had various initiatives through which people could help out or support strangers. 

“Even before COVID, Love Your Neighbor was a way of life for our company but after, it really took off,” Webb said.

He recalled how he and other friends served peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in Pelion. Then people started donating money, and he could give out more food. During the beginning of the pandemic kids meals were given for free on a certain day, and then later, kids meals were offered half-off to help families out.

Webb works with Lexington Kids Day mascot Olly the Otter throughout the year, joking he’s the unofficial mascot at Hwy. 55 in Red Bank. The two have been working together since 2019, with Olly having his Warrior Nights on a specific day, with the restaurant closing for a time to cater just to the mascots Warriors, who are kids bravely fighting cancer.

This year, Webb’s restaurant has four months out of the year where there are specified days for kids to come in and enjoy a half-off kids meal, receive a free exclusive food item and receive a monthly Olly collector card.

“Besides feeding families, we’re encouraging family time,” Webb said.

Hwy. 55 Burgers, Shakes and Fries, lexington county restaurant, red bank business


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