If you make it to your 101st birthday, it obviously calls for a big celebration. When Ruth Parker hit that milestone, the centenarian decided to celebrate her birthday at Taco Bell.
Parker doesn’t reserve the fast food restaurant for special occasions, though. For the past 18 years, she has visited her local Taco Bell in Carbondale, Illinois, every Tuesday and Friday — and occasionally some of the days in between. So she saw no reason to stray from her routine this year just because it was her birthday.
“We celebrate every birthday here,” Parker told KFVS. “I feel alright for being 101, I guess.”
Parker has become a familiar presence for the employees at the Carbondale Taco Bell, and they look forward to seeing her at least twice weekly.
“No matter what, we all know Miss Ruth and we all make her a part of our lives and talk to her,” said store manager Rebecca Gefro. “We just love her to death.”
Although Parker is at Taco Bell all the time, the staff made sure to make her birthday visit extra special. The restaurant was decorated with balloons, streamers and a message on the marquee sign when she arrived. Watch Parker talk about her love for Taco Bell in this heartwarming video from CBS Philly below:
When Parker first started going to the fast food chain nearly two decades ago, she was simply looking for a place to have a cup of coffee and read the newspaper. Even though the restaurant did not serve coffee at the time, an employee made her a cup anyway, and Parker was so impressed with the hospitality she received that she’s been going back ever since.
Now that she’s been frequenting Taco Bell for such a long time, she says she’s had almost every menu item. Her current favorite is the Nacho Fries. She’s also able to get her cup of joe when she visits, as the restaurant began serving coffee when it added a breakfast menu a few years back.
“Whether it’s as a backdrop to senior grad photos, a wedding venue or a birthday destination from 1 to 101, Taco Bell’s role in our fan’s biggest life-moments show the power of the brand in culture and the importance of our Team Members’ role in the community,” Taco Bell spokesman Matt Prince said in a statement.