91-year-old 'killing time' by working 7 days a week at Indiana Arby's

Arby's worker
Posted at 9:01 AM, Feb 23, 2022

Not only does an Arby's location in Elkhart, Indiana "have the meats," they also have what they consider to be the roast beef chain's top employee: 91-year-old Jack Burkett.

Burkett has worked at the Emerson Drive Arby's location for about 10 years, and his coworkers couldn't be happier to have him around.

"He does everything. He's just amazing," said general manager Rosemary Gresso.

Burkett says he was a fan of Arby's before becoming an employee.

"Before my wife passed away, we used to come in here three times a day for breakfast, lunch and supper," he said.

When most seniors hit 80, they're looking to wind things down. But not Burkett. He was looking for an extra job to take on in his golden years.

"I said, 'I need an extra job, I think.' And they said, 'When do you want to go to work?' And I said, 'Now, today,'" Burkett said. "She said, 'No, not today, but tomorrow.'"

Burkett initially offered to work for free, but Arby's told him he needed to take on a salary. In the decade since he started, workers at the restaurant say he's grown into one of the location's most reliable employees.

"He normally does work seven days a week. I don't even put him on my schedule anymore because he just shows up," Gresso said.

Burkett spends his shift cleaning tables, doing dishes, and what he calls "killing time."

His secret to staying strong and keeping a good work ethic? Apple cider vinegar.

"We have to drink that everyday," Gresso said. "I'm just like, 'OK?' And he is like, 'Did you do it yet?' And I was like, 'Not without you.'"

But Burkett's favorite perk of the job? The food.

"You can't beat the roast beef," he said.