The Facebook story of a 7-year-old autistic girl's warm experience at a Chili’s restaurant in Utah has gone viral with more than 31,000 comments, 132,000-plus shares, and more than a half a million likes.
The story was posted by the girl's sister after the restaurant's display of kindness.
Upon receiving her favorite order – a cheeseburger with pickles, fries, and a chocolate milk – Arianna Hill didn't start eating, causing her sister, Anna Kaye MacLean, to ask her what was wrong.
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"She replied, 'It’s broken. I need another one that's fixed,'" said MacLean on her Facebook page. "Then it dawned on me why she wasn’t eating it. It’s because it was cut in half. Being a child with autism, she has to have certain things in a particular order at all times. One slight change in her routine can change the course of the day instantly."
MacLean told the waitress she wanted to order another burger, which she said she would pay for. She explained the situation to the waitress and asked her to make sure the second sandwich didn't get sliced.
According to MacLean, the waitress smiled and told Arianna "'I brought you a broken cheeseburger?! You know what, I’ll have them cook you a new one!'"
Shortly after, manager Bradley Cottermole came to the table and knelt beside Arianna, telling her, "I heard we gave you a broken cheeseburger! I am so sorry about that! We are making you a brand new one that isn’t broken, with pickles! I’ll bring you some french fries to munch on while you’re waiting, ok?"
"A couple of minutes later, Lauren [the waitress] arrived back at our table with cheeseburger #2," said MacLean.
After receiving the cheeseburger, Arianna thanked the waitress for fixing her burger, turned to the meal and said "OH I missed you!!" and began to kissing it.
As Arianna kissed the burger, MacLean took a photo which she later posted on Facebook
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"I was so touched by this experience. Especially since I know people who have been asked to leave restaurants when their child with autism is being disruptive," MacLean said. "I expected a few different things with this scenario based on past experiences, but I did NOT expect such kind and compassionate mannerisms from Lauren and Bradley."
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