Hugs, high fives and a 10-piece chicken nugget, size large, with ranch.

A HEARTWARMING STORY ABOUT COMMUNITY, WENDY’S STYLE

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Several times a week, someone gets a special shout-out at the Maine Mall Wendy’s in South Portland.  It’s when Ryan, a weekday regular, bursts through the doors with a hearty, “There’s Becky!”

Becky Laudermilk has worked at this Wendy’s for almost three years. Ryan has been a customer for two. And while connecting with customers is trademark Becky, reaching out comes far less easily for Ryan.

When Ryan, who is autistic, first came to Wendy’s, he kept to himself. But he soon took notice of Becky, who quickly memorized his favorite meal, a 10 piece chicken nugget, size large, with ranch. Ryan began studying Becky’s nametag and stealing glances at her smile. He started saying Becky’s name first to himself, then to Becky. These days, he gives a booming greeting, and his once shy mannerisms have given way to high-fives and hugs. Meanwhile, his weekly visits have turned into several visits a week—visits that the Wendy’s team looks forward to. Ryan keeps track of these trips in his day planner, reminding himself to “Go See Becky.”

Becky says that her friendship with Ryan is special but that “all of my customers are like family to me.” Becky knows all of the regulars: from their orders to their latest family news.  She’s quick to offer a pick-me-up when customers seem down.  “It’s like a community here,” she says.

A community that just wouldn’t be the same without Becky and Ryan.

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