Chili’s Server Fixes a ‘Broken Cheeseburger’ for a Girl With Autism

chilis autism cheeseburger

Who doesn’t love a cheeseburger from Chili’s? Anna MacLean, her husband, and her 7-year-old sister, Arianna, thought the same as they were greeted and seated at a local Chili’s restaurant. Enjoying meals out gives the sisters time together and allows Anna to help Arianna, who has autism, interact with others in public.

After a memorable encounter with the restaurant staff, Anna describes the meal in great detail in a Facebook post on the restaurant’s page.

Anna begins, “Arianna, my little sister, didn’t waste any time when our waitress, Lauren, greeted us at our table. Arianna promptly ordered her cheeseburger with pickles, french fries, and chocolate milk before Lauren could even take our drink order.”

“Lauren smiled and told Arianna, ‘Okay! I’ll be right back with your chocolate milk!'”

Their food arrived, and Arianna dove into her French fries. But, Arianna wouldn’t touch her cheeseburger.

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Anna asked her, “Arianna are you going to eat your cheeseburger?”

And, Arianna “calmly said, ‘No, I don’t want it.’

Within the Facebook post, Anna continued to explain. The family often called cheeseburgers, “Krabby Patties,” after the popular cartoon, SpongeBob SquarePants. Cheeseburgers were one of Arianna’s favorite foods of all time, so it was incredibly unlike Arianna to be disinterested in her cheeseburger—especially with pickles. So, Anna asked Arianna, “Why don’t you want it?”

Arianna replied, “It’s broken. I need another one that’s fixed.”

Anna explained, “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. When Lauren came back to check on us, I asked if we could order another cheeseburger and just add it to our check.”

Lauren, the server, understandably had a confused look on her face.

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Janna Firestone
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Janna lives in Northern Colorado with her husband and two teenage boys. You’ll often find her hiking, paddleboarding, or enjoying a good board game indoors. She's an unapologetic Dallas Cowboys fan, and an even bigger fan of coffee, dry shampoo, and authentic conversations.