Texas Chick-fil-A employees accommodate specific meal request for autistic child: 'A pleasure'

Chick-Fil-A patrons bursting out in song

An a capella breaks out into song at a Nashville Chick-Fil-A

This cute kiddo got just what he wanted at Chick-fil-A.

A mother in Texas is praising employees of the chicken-centric chain for kindly accommodating specific instructions to prepare a meal for her young son, who has autism and wanted his food arranged in a certain way. The grateful customer has since shared the story to Facebook, where it’s gone viral with thousands of likes and shares.

On Tuesday, Marlee Olivarez and her son Matthew hit the drive-thru of the Edinburg Chick-fil-A, ordering a breakfast bowl for the boy, KVEO reports. But the 8-year-old doesn’t like for his foods to mix together, his mom explained.

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"With Matthew, he doesn’t like his food groups to touch each other, so everything has to be separate because of the textures," Olivarez said. "It’s pretty much a sensory overload for him."

The customers requested that the eggs, chicken, cheese and hash browns from the No. 4 special be served in four separate bowls – prompting a staffer to wonder why.

A mother in Texas is praising Chick-fil-A employees for kindly accommodating specific instructions to prepare a meal for her young son, who has autism and wanted his order arranged in a certain way.
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After they pulled around to the drive-thru window, Olivarez said the manager came by with a question: "Out of the many years I’ve been working for Chick-fil-A, I have never heard or seen anyone ask for this item separated. I’m curious, is there a reason why?"

Seizing the moment, the mom called it a "perfect time" to spread awareness and shed light on autism spectrum disorder (ASD), she wrote on Facebook.

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From there, Hospitality Director Sam Guardiola said he completely understood, and that the restaurant would be happy to meet Matthew’s needs.

"Being a father of three, I understood her completely… it was more of a pleasure," Guardiola told KVEO. "I know Chick-fil-A is about guest service, customer service, and striving to do the best for our guest, and so it was just something so natural to do for her. When she was so grateful for it, well, it just encouraged the whole team to do an even better job."

Online, the proud mom thanked her local Chick-fil-A chain for compassionately serving the special request in a post that’s gone viral with over 5,000 likes and 5,000 shares.

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In a follow-up message, Olivarez said she was blown away by the support, and urged others to speak up for their loved ones, too.

"Everyone deserves to have an advocate and Matthew’s just so happens to be me," she said. "Please continue spreading awareness and sharing the post, it is very much appreciated not only to Matthew and I but to every other family living with ASD."

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