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Woman thankful for Chili's 'compassionate' reaction to autistic sister
November 27, 2016
Anna Kaye MacLean has a lot of positive things to say about a Midvale, Utah, branch of Chili's Grill and Bar, according to KSL.
MacLean took her sister Arianna, 7, to lunch at the restaurant in March of 2013. While she was there Arianna, who has an autism spectrum disorder, became upset when the hamburger she ordered was "broken," according to MacLean's Facebook post.
"When we got our food I was wondering why Arianna wouldn’t touch her cheeseburger, but was going to town on her french fries. I asked her, 'Arianna are you going to eat your cheeseburger?' She calmly said, 'No, I don’t want it.' Cheeseburgers, or ‘Krabby Patties’ as we sometimes call them, are her favorite! So this behavior was very strange. So I asked her, 'Why don’t you want it?'. She replied, 'It’s broken. I need another one that's fixed,' MacLean wrote.
Upon further inspection, MacLean noticed that the burger had been cut in half, per Chili's typical serving procedure. When their waitress returned to the table, MacLean attempted to order another sandwich, according to KSL.
"When Lauren came back to check on us, I asked if we could order another cheeseburger and just add it to our check ... I explained that Arianna has autism, and that in her mind, because the cheeseburger was cut in half, she thinks its broken and can’t eat it," MacLean wrote.
Lauren, the waitress, responded by apologizing for bringing a "broken" burger and told Arianna she would take the sandwich back and make her a new one. After the waitress took the sandwich away, the manager came by and offered to bring extra fries while Arianna waited.
When the waitress returned with the burger, Arianna kissed the sandwich exclaiming, "Oh, I missed you," before eating it, MacLean wrote.
"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. 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. Everyone, from the hostess to the chef, played a role in what most people would think isn’t a big deal. But this entirely shaped how the rest of our day would go ... Thank you," MacLean wrote.
Harrison Dixon, a managing partner at the restaurant, told KSL that people post stories like this all the time and that the manager just wanted to make sure the little girl felt good. Dixon told KSL that the store has received calls from across the country thanking them.
"I'm grinning from ear to ear. I know if you were to talk to those two, they would just say they are just doing their job. That's what makes me proud to work for this company and to have such amazing people working for me and with me," Dixon told KSL.