Lunchtime at the local McDonald’s in Arden Hills, Minnesota, is anything but a regular experience. Sure, the food is typical and just like any other McDonald’s, but there’s a very special reason that people seek out keep coming back to the local Arden Hills location.
It’s not because it’s owned by the former Minnesota Viking, Tim Baylor, either.
“He literally makes people’s day,” Tim says. “Daniel is what you want.”
Daniel Marshall, 22, mans the drive-thru six out of seven days a week at the local Arden Hills McDonald’s and is on a mission to brighten every single person’s day.
Not even one person is missed, as Daniel greets each of them by singing the McDonald’s jingle upon their arrival at the drive-thru, “Ba Da Ba Da Da! Thank you so much for choosing Arden Hills McDonald’s,” he chimes, “My name is Daniel. How are you today?”
The joy doesn’t stop there. Once you’ve reached the window to make your payment, Daniel proceeds to greet you personally despite not knowing your name.
“What’s up Superstar?”
Daniel’s prime concern is about bringing sunshine into everyone’s day, something he stellarly exceeds at providing with ease.
“He really puts a smile on my face,” laughs Emily Rabe. “When I’m having a mental breakdown as a student, he really brightens my day.”
While Daniel has found his place at the local McDonald’s, it wasn’t always so easy for him to thrive.
Daniel was diagnosed with autism in elementary school, and other people were not so kind to him.
“I was different than a lot of people,” Daniel remembers, “I was called names, like, I was dumb, I was stupid, I was retarded.”
The onslaught continued into adulthood. Daniel worked at another burger joint where his peers and even his manager constantly harassed him for his high vibing positive attitude.
“Every day they would say to him, ‘You just need to quit. Isn’t there somewhere else you would like to work,’ ” his mother, Cheryl Marshall, recalls.
It all changed when Daniel began working at the Arden Hills McDonald’s under Ashley Sicora.
Ashley has a soft spot for Daniel and understands him better than others as she herself has a son with autism.
She sees Daniel in her son Liam, “I understand how he ticks. My youngest son is actually autistic as well.”
Liam will hyperfocus on things like space and the planets.
“Customer service is that for Daniel,” Ashley says. “Everything he has he puts into that.”
This fact is undeniable and is not lost on the customers who patronize the restaurant. Hundreds of people have sent in reviews and messages to compliment and recognize Daniel for his superior attitude and customer service.
“My kids love his singing.”
“You found a gem.”
“An amazing person.”
Daniel even sings the order to each customer as he delivers their bags. Not even Ebenezer Scrooge could resist giving a smile of gratitude for the mini-serenade.
“Who sings to you anymore in this day and age?” a woman giggles as Daniel greets her.
As a small token of appreciation for Daniel for his amazing work-ethics and pure heart, they honored him by posting his name on their outdoor signage, right below the famous golden arches, for everyone to see.
“WE ARE LOVING DANIEL!!!! BA, DA, BA, DA, DA.”
Tickled pink with a huge smile on his face upon seeing the sign, Daniel slowly fell backward onto the sidewalk, experiencing the joy he usually dishes out.
Daniel is not only grateful for his supportive work environment, but he sees this as his opportunity to give back and impact the world around him.
“It’s home,” he says. “It’s a brand-new opportunity for me to be somebody in the world.”
This story was inspired by a report from Kare 11
Full video here.