Hungover customer brings heaps of business to struggling Alberta fish and chip shop

A little fish and chip shop in Lethbridge, Alta., on the brink of closing its doors is now flooded with new customers — and it’s all thanks to one very hungry, hungover man.

Lineups out the door at Whitbie’s Fish & Chips in Lethbridge after glowing Facebook review

A lineup of hungry customers at Whitbie's Fish & Chips. (Colin Ross/Facebook)

Up until a few days ago, business was "absolutely terrible" at John McMillan's little fish and chips shop in Lethbridge, Alta.

But that all changed after a very hungry and hungover customer walked through his doors.

"I had a few drinks the night before and I was feeling like some grease," Colin Ross told the Calgary Eyeopener on Friday.

He struck up a conversation with the friendly 69-year-old owner, who fixed him a three-piece halibut on a bed of fries.

Ross devoured his meal and his hangover began to dull. As clarity set in, he realized the shop was empty.

"I just seen a really good establishment with really good food that deserved a lineup through the door."

He told the owner he was going to help him. 

"He says, 'I've got 2,000 friends on Facebook,'" said McMillan, who didn't really know what that meant because he's "not into a lot of computer stuff."

Lineups out the door

Ross's glowing review of Whitbie's Fish & Chips on his Facebook page has had more than 8,000 shares and has brought hundreds of new customers through the door.

"Our business has just gone right through the roof to the point where, you know, we've got people waiting an hour and a half to an hour and three quarters for their dinner," McMillan said.

The owner has had to quickly recruit family and friends to help him out, but sure isn't complaining.

"Calgary had their flood. Fort McMurray had their fire and a little fish and chip shop in Lethbridge had its problem. The people of Alberta just come together. This is the greatest province and the greatest country," he said.

"It's just so good to live here."

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener