WILLIAMSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — A Williamston restaurant owner has lots of loyal customers who come to him for barbecue, but he’s getting praise for things not on his regular menu.

Gary Manning owns Shaw’s Barbecue House in Williamston. Manning said Joseph Leggett is one of his regular customers.

“If he’s not here, we start to worry if something’s going on,” said Manning.

Leggett eats at Shaw’s several time per week and always orders barbecue chicken, string beans and potatoes.

January 19 was like any other day for Leggett.

“I’m sitting in a booth by myself,” he said. “The little girl behind the counter saw me.”

That’s when Manning heard one of his employees yell for him for help. Leggett was choking.

“He was motioning that he couldn’t breathe,” said Manning. “We tried to pat him on the back again and it didn’t work. So then I pushed a table over, picked him up and performed the Heimlich.”

Manning said his actions were just human nature.

The owner of Shaw’s Barbecue House in Williamston saved the life of a choking customer with his quick thinking.

“To say I did something out of the way, I don’t think so,” he said. “I think I did what anybody else would do around here.”

Leggett is doing better now and is back to his regular routine. That means another meal at Shaw’s.

“This morning I just got two scrambled eggs and bacon,” said Leggett.

Now, Leggett’s and Manning’s friendship is stronger than ever.

“When you see somebody in trouble, help,” said Manning. “No matter what it is.”

Leggett went to the hospital to get checked out after the choking incident and is doing well, he said.