The Story of a Broken Cheeseburger

In March 2013 at a Chili’s fast-food restaurant in Midvale, Utah, Anna MacLean, age 25, took her little sister, Arianna Hill, a seven-year-oldwho has autism, to lunch. Afterward, Arianna was going to see the Easter Bunny. However, Arianna’s cheeseburger was cut in half, and Arianna said that it was “broken.” Lauren Wells, who was serving Anna and Arianna, said, “Automatically we cut it in half so it’s easier for the kids to eat.” Anna explained that Arianna has autism, and Lauren immediately ordered a new, uncut cheeseburger for Arianna. Chili’s manager Brad Cattermole also apologized to Arianna for the broken cheeseburger. He said, “I was like, ‘Did we bring you a broken hamburger?’ And she [said], ‘Yeah,’ and so I told her we’ve got another one coming on the way in just a second. I offered her some French fries to munch on while she’s waiting.” Anna wrote on Chili’s Facebook wall, “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. 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.” Anna also posted a photograph of young Arianna kissing her newly made unbroken cheeseburger.

For Further Information: Meredith Bennett-Smith, “Heroic Chili’s Waitress Fixes ‘Broken’ Cheeseburger For Girl With Autism (VIDEO).” Huffington Post. 26 March 2013

Also: Anna Kaye MacLean, “Photos of Chili’s Bar & Grill. Accessed 27 March 2013. 

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