John had his whole life laid out for him from a young age, his father had built a restaurant business and the responsibility of growing it further was put on his shoulders. And despite all the challenges, he delivered.
But his dedication to his family business cost him everything, friends, family and relationships but John always thought he had time to figure that part of his life out – until the doctor gave him the news that no one wants to hear! John had to race against the clock to undo decades of wrongs and decided to play a little experiment on his co-workers to find out if any one of them deserved his wealth.
1. A Suddun Change
The 78-year-old had only one great passion, to grow his family business. He inherited it from his father at just 25 years old when he passed away. At the time, the young man felt crushed by this unexpected obligation but knew that his father would have wanted him to push through.
And with little experience in the field, John put his head down and worked hard to make his father and his own dream into a reality. Decades later, he achieved that with an empire in the fine-dining world.
2. Not Many Friends
John had single handily created several restaurants around the country with three just in his hometown. To say he was successful was an understatement but his achievements came at a cost.
Throughout the years, John had tunnel vision. He sacrificed his relationships with his friends and family to focus solely on his professional life. John was so laser-focused on his goal that he never even had the chance to cultivate a proper romantic relationship!
3. Falling Ill
The national success of his restaurant chain meant that John had accumulated quite a fortune. With no hobbies or even desire to do anything but work, the workaholic had no idea where or how to even spend his money.
But before John could even think about that, fate had other ideas for him. Age had gotten the best of him but John was still healthy but when one day he woke up with a debilitating stomach ache – he knew something was wrong.
4. No Time
He was rushed to the hospital via ambulance and there the doctor’s confirmed what John had a sneaky suspicion all along. You see, John had been feeling poorly on and off for a while now but had ignored the signs
He had thought it was something which would go away on its own but alas, the news was far worst than he could have imagined. John was dying and that too quickly. The doctors explained that he had an aggressive infection that had progressed to a critical stage.
5. Months To Live
They had no exact date on when to expect the worst but it was looking dier. John had months, if not weeks and with no family to rely on for support – he had to go through all this alone.
The wealthy restauranteur was left perplexed and confused. What was he going to do with his time left? He didn’t even have any friends who he thought were close enough to tell the news. John had his whole life flash before him and now it felt empty and meaningless.
6. Two Choices
He had two choices, he could give all his wealth to charity and live in the hospital waiting for his final days or try to find someone to take over his empire and continue his family’s name. His heart wanted his business to be taken over by someone worthy but he had no idea who?
One night, full of medication, John had a crazy idea. He knew how he could do both. The next morning, after weeks of depression, he finally got out of bed with a new sense of energy and life.
7. His Staff
The only people John was on friendly terms with were the people managing his restaurants and his plan to find out who was going to take over his empire directly involved them. The over-the-top plan would finally help John get some peace of mind.
The managers had been working for John for decades now and he thought he knew what sort of people they were. And since they knew exactly how to run the restaurants to his specifications, it seemed like the obvious choice to choose them for his little experiment.
8. His Idea
Yes, John had come up with an elaborate social experiment to figure out who would take over his wealth. Crazy as that sounded, John was certain it was the right way. He still was going to leave half his wealth to charity but the other half was going to be determined by the experiment.
He hired people whose sole purpose was to ensure that his experiment would run smoothly, even when he was gone and once all the logistics were thought out and officially confirmed, it was time for the experiment to begin.
9. Social Experiment
The thing was none of the candidates could ever know they were part of the social experiment! So, to achieve that, John had to wear a disguise. He got a head-to-toe makeover into a homeless man!
He shed his well-tailored suits, expensive cars and even got a bad haircut to fully get in “character”. John looked unrecognizable and that is exactly what he needed to set his social experiment in motion.
10. The Looks
John had never really struggled with finances and always been regarded as a respectable member of the society, so when he left his home after his makeover and started getting weary stares from strangers – his heart broke.
Everyone regarded him as a thief or a danger and John hadn’t even said or done anything to them! He hoped that his beloved restaurant staff wouldn’t be like the rest of the people on the street but alas, he was wrong.
11. First Stop
He walked straight into one of his largest restaurants and approached the manager but before he could even speak, the manager started yelling at him! He ordered John to be kicked out of the restaurant immediately!
The old man was shocked! He had known the manager for years and he had always seemed like a kind and caring man but the man who was standing in front of him was no one he recognised.
12. A Simple Request
As he was being shoved out, John managed to mumble out the fact that all he wanted was a simple meal and that he was hungry! But no one would listen to him! All they wanted to do was kick John out.
One of the chefs even mocked John and told him that he would rather throw the food in the trash than give him some! The elderly man was heartbroken. Were these really the same people he had hired?
Sick of hearing abuses, John decided to reveal his true identity. As he was kicked out, he pleaded with the manager to do one simple thing for him, call the owner of the restaurant. This strange request caught the rude manager by surprise.
He went to explain that he once used to be a regular customer of this restaurant and was an old friend of the restaurant owner, but unfortunately, his own business had gone bankrupt. All he wanted was a simple meal and if the manager called the owner, he would remember him!
14. The “Real” Owner
In his original plan, the manager was supposed to call the owner aka John and that would have been the end of the experiment but what the manager said next truly showed to him, just how bad things were at his own establishments without him even realising it.
The manager claimed that he himself was the owner and laughed at John’s face and loudly screamed at him that he wouldn’t even give a drink of water to the “likes of him”. He then told him to run away before he called the cops!
John was stunned into silence! He felt ashamed of himself that he had let such a cruel man run of his restaurants for such a long time. He had wanted to reveal his true identity then and there but stopped himself.
He would deal with this employee later, he still had to go on with the experiment. But John’s spirits were crushed. With such a horrible start that left a bad taste in his mouth, would he ever be able to find someone worthy of his fortune?
16. Was It His Fault?
One thing was sure, he was glad that he was conducting this experiment where he had the chance to finally see what really happened in his restaurants and where their real priorities lay.
He had expected the stares but never did he expect his own manager to treat him so badly. John had thought he had told all his staff to treat everyone equally but clearly, his message had been lost or never implemented.
17. Maybe It Was A Mistake
With the end of his own life staring at him, John felt hopeless. Was this the type of legacy he was leaving behind? He considered leaving all his money to charity and forgetting about the experiment.
And if he had, no one would have blamed him but something still felt unfinished for John. So, he decided to try again. This time he would modify his plans a little to see if he could get different results.
18. The Last Restaurant
John decided to go to one of his smallest restaurants this time and approached it through the back door but before he could even get close to it, he was shoved away by the guard. This was turning out to be exactly like his first try.
But what the sickly millionaire didn’t know was that this time someone was watching him. Julie was sitting on the sidewalk, eating her lunch and saw John being shooed away from the restaurant. She put two and two together and waved at the millionaire.
19. Kind Stranger
John was caught off guard by her genuine warmth and even more by what happened next. Without even letting John ask for a meal, Julie graciously offered to share her lunch with him – the restauranter was speechless.
After the day he had had, John had no hope that he would meet a kind soul ever but Julie changed that. She actually asked him questions about his own life and wanted to have a real conversation with the elderly “homeless” man.
20. Lunch Together
As the two had lunch together, Julia talked about her life. She told John how she had been working as a dishwasher in the restaurant for six months and was occasionally allowed to assist in the restaurant.
Her true passion was to have her own restaurant one day but ever since her last business partner had all but bankrupted her, she was struggling financially and had given up on this lifelong dream.
John tentatively listened and with each passing second, knew that his social experiment had to end now. Throughout their conversation, he felt a growing sense of connection with this stranger.
And he knew he had to reveal himself. She was the right person to take over from John. At first, when he told her about his real identity, all Julia could do was stare. She didn’t know how to react.
22. True Identity
John went ahead and removed his disguised and shared his own sad story with her, explaining that he had only a few months to live after being diagnosed with an incurable disease.
He recounted to her, how he wanted someone to take over his empire and had conducted this social experiment to find them and Julia was who he had chosen to take over. He wanted his legacy to be in his hands!
23. His Legacy
Julia who had always struggled with money couldn’t believe that a stranger would help her like this. Her whole future had changed all because she shared lunch with a homeless man. She vowed to John that she wouldn’t let him down and would take over this responsibility.
John was finally at peace. He had left his company in good hands and sadly, he died a few weeks after finding Julia. In his will, he left everything to the dishwasher and hoped that she would do better than him.
24. Homage To John
And she tried her best. Julie’s first major change in the company was teaching upper management how to better deal with people from all walks of life and she even opened a restaurant specifically catering towards Homeless People.
The meals were almost always free but provided those struggling with homelessness a chance to feel “normal”. This was a tribute to John and while we didn’t know him personally, we are sure that the elderly man would have greatly appreciated it.