Ready to retire: NuWay’s Betty hangs up apron after 45 years

Betty Gettings has worked for the Wichita fast-food restaurant for 45 years.
Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 5:16 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A Wichita tradition since 1930 saw its longest-tenured employee hang up her apron Thursday, capping a near half-century career.

Betting Gettings, 79, served as a manager and a waitress at NuWay for 45 years. On her last day Thursday, longtime customers showed up to NuWay’s original location in west Wichita to celebrate Betty and all the memories.

“It’s hard to believe and it’s… I’ve already broke down a couple of times this morning at home from phone calls and stuff,” Gettings said during her final shift.

When she started, a NuWay (a crumbly hamburger) cost 78 cents. Today, it’s more than $4. Gettings said what she’ll miss the most about her job are the relationships formed over the years.

“When I got here and I see smiles on my customers’ faces and I realize what a special connection we have,” she said. “It kind of puts me in a lifted mood.”

Thursday, many of the customers inside the original NuWay off west Douglas were there to say goodbye to Gettings.

“Full of energy, full of energy. She doesn’t seem anything like her age,” NuWay customer and friend of Gettings, Sharon Lee Bright said.

Fellow customer and friend Rick Hitchcock said Gettings was the first employee to ever wait on him at NuWay.

“And she had that personality that we just love,” he said.

Friend and customer Pam Rogers described that personality as “energetic and friendly to everybody.” Her memories with Gettings go back decades.

“We farm west of Wichita, and my mom would come in here and get a box of NuWays to take to the field, and Betty would always fix them up for her, so we would always have them out in the field during harvest,” Rogers said.

Looking ahead, Gettings said her emotions are mixed.

“I’m excited to start a different life, but I’m sad at the same time,” she said. “I’ve always said that if God closes one door, he’s got another one open for you.”

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