McDonald's drive-thru employee with autism sings orders out to his customers and they are "lovin’ it"

McDonald's drive-thru employee with autism sings orders out to his customers and they are "lovin’ it"

He would be taunted by the staff at his previous workplace. But at this drive-thru, "It's home," he says.

Alongside an order of burgers and fries comes a sweet side of singing, served only at a McDonald’s drive-thru in Minnesota. Customers, who show up at the drive-thru window, will hear a special employee named Daniel Marshall greet them by singing their order out to them. "What’s up rock star? How are you?" he was heard singing to one customer.

"Boss," "captain," and "superstar" are other names he hands out to customers along with their cheeseburgers. Seeing happy customers makes Daniel feel like he has found the right workplace for the first time in his life.


Diagnosed with autism, Daniel has had to deal with teasing and name-calling ever since he was in elementary school. "I was different from a lot of people," Daniel told KARE 11. "I was called names, like, I was dumb, I was stupid, I was retarded."

Even as he grew into an adult, Daniel still saw people treat him with no sensitivity. When he was employed at a different burger joint, Daniel's mother revealed that he would be taunted for his positivity by the manager and the staff members. "Every day they would say to him, ‘You just need to quit. Isn't there somewhere else you would like to work,'" said Daniel's mother, Cheryl Marshall.

When Daniel began working at the Arden Hills' McDonald’s, he finally he felt like things were working out in his favor.


His McDonald’s manager, Ashley Sicora, was extremely understanding and revealed that she, too, has a 10-year-old son with autism. Ashley sees parts of Daniel in her son, Liam. "I understand how he ticks," Ashley said about Daniel. "My youngest son is actually autistic as well." What Ashley has noticed about Liam is that he will hyper-focus on anything and everything that has to do with space and planets. In the same way, Daniel will hyper-focus on customer service.

"Everything he has he puts into that," Ashley said. When it's time for Daniel's shift, those at the joint will hear the iconic McDonald’s jingle, "BA, DA, BA, DA, DA!" come through the speaker in Daniel's voice.


"This guy is great," said customer, Mark Lozano, as he sat in the driver's seat listening. "Thank you so much for choosing Arden Hills McDonald's,” the voice goes on to say. "My name is Daniel. How are you today?" And thus continues the hearty exchange between the customer and singing Daniel. "He really puts a smile on my face," said another customer, Emily Rabe. “When I’m having a mental breakdown as a student, he really brightens my day."

Daniel has got so much attention for his colorful personality that it came to the notice of former Minnesota Viking, Tim Baylor, who is also the owner of the Arden Hills McDonald’s. "He literally makes people's day," Tim said. "Daniel is what you want." There is "no one quite like Daniel," Tim goes on to say. As for Daniel's mother, she couldn't be happier and said she is now a "very proud mom."


Also a mother in similar shoes, Ashley says her worries about Liam disappear when she sees Daniel at the drive-thru window. "When you see somebody like Daniel, it's just kind of reassuring that it's going to be okay and he'll figure out his own way," she said. As Daniel continues giving customers great performances, he is glad to come every day to a workplace where he is accepted. "It's home," he said about the drive-thru. "It's a brand-new opportunity for me to be somebody in the world."

Cover image source: KARE 11/YouTube

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