Hidden Messages In Fast-Food Orders That Made Employees Call The Cops

By: Riley Brown | Last updated: Dec 21, 2022

Fast-food restaurants are known for providing customers with filling meals in the quickest time possible. As soon as staff members receive an order, they do their best to have it delivered fresh to customers’ houses. What happens, though, when a customer places a special request that is out of the ordinary?

Considering the number of orders fast-food employees have to deal with at any given time, it would be a miracle if they even noticed an unusual customer note. Thankfully, in the situations below, fast-food workers were observant enough to pick up on the true meaning behind odd requests and take the action needed. 

A Special Order

When this pizza joint received an order for a large pepperoni pizza, they thought it was just a normal request. They made sure it included garlic sauce to dunk the pizza in, but the customer also wanted something else.


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As Pizza Hut was preparing the order, their standard operating procedure included checking for any customer notes. The staff members working that night were shocked to see what their regular customer, Cheryl Treadway, had requested. Could it be an error or a prank?


Cheryl was a Regular Mom from Florida

Cheryl Treadway was a happy 25-year-old mom from Florida. She liked the life she had made for herself and her family. Her three kids were healthy, and she was living with her boyfriend, Ethan.


Source: Postfun.com

She believed she couldn’t ask for more. Life was fun, and Florida was giving them year-round sun. It was enough to keep them going. She also adored her kids and would give anything to make them happy. 

Her Family was Her Top Priority

Raising three sons may not be easy, but Cheryl was proud of her kids. Despite their young age, they were all very well behaved. They loved their mom and dad, and they never gave their parents any trouble. Cheryl truly felt blessed. 


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Of course, life was not perfect. Cheryl’s partner, Ethan, was struggling with drug addiction. His bad habits worried Cheryl, and he was prone to emotional outbursts as well as irrational and violent behavior. 

A Dad Struggling with Drug Abuse

Though Cheryl loved Ethan, and she knew he loved their children, she was worried that his outbursts might lead to an incident that would negatively affect their kids. Unfortunately, his drug problem did eventually get the best of him.



The illicit substances Ethan was taking wreaked havoc on his ability to control himself. He became incapable of facing reality in a calm way. It was a spring afternoon when Cheryl got into an argument with her boyfriend, who was under the influence at the time.

A Dangerous Situation

Fortunately, the argument occurred when their children were in school. The kids were not exposed to the highly charged situation their parents were going through. They did not see how everything was becoming more intense by the moment. 


At one point, Ethan grabbed the phone Cheryl was holding. His face and eyes were filled with a frightening rage. It was enough to make Cheryl fear for her life. However, Ethan had not even reached his peak. He went to the kitchen and grabbed a knife.


The Kids May Be in Danger

At this moment, Cheryl saw the danger Ethan could pose to her kids. She was relieved that they were not at home as she didn’t want them to see their dad holding a knife and threatening their mom.


However, the school day was coming to an end. She was going to have to go and pick the kids up soon. Ethan knew that if Cheryl left, she might run away with the kids or call the cops on him. So, he decided to go with her to the kids’ school.


The Worst Ride of Her Life

Ethan jumped in the car with Cheryl. According to her, the trip was extremely uncomfortable. She felt dazed while on the road, and though she knew she needed to get away, she couldn’t think of a strategy. All the while, Ethan was giving her a threatening stare. 

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As cars passed them by, she wanted to shout out for help. But she was aware that Ethan could easily lash out. Eventually, they arrived at school and picked up the kids. They all quietly returned home. 


The Escape Plan

The children had no idea of the trouble brewing between Cheryl and Ethan. But Cheryl was already doing her best to hatch an escape plan. She used all the resources she had at her disposal, which wasn’t much. 

via Piqsels

She knew that her kids’ routine consisted of having some food as soon as they returned home from school. Since they were all hungry, she used this as an opportunity to reach out to someone. She chose a place that her kids loved. 


Kids Love Pizza

Most children can’t get enough of pizza. Since Cheryl’s kids were regulars at Pizza Hut, she decided to order their favorite treat. However, she was in this for more than just the pizza. Cheryl had to make this particular order different.

Amin Eshaiker / Wikimedia Commons

While making the order, Ethan was watching Cheryl like a hawk. He wanted to make sure she was not doing anything that would alert anyone to their situation. He did not want Cheryl to call and ask for help.


The Waiting Game

Cheryl was able to finish her order and include her secret message. Of course, there were no guarantees. She had to wait for Pizza Hut to receive it and have them send someone to deliver the pizza. So far, the kids were still not aware of the danger they were facing.

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However, Cheryl knew the situation could become worse in a split second. She could not trust Ethan to stay calm for long. Cheryl had no choice but to keep the peace as she waited for Pizza Hut to deliver her order.


Pizza Hut Receives the Order

The local Pizza Hut that Cheryl and her family frequented was one of the town’s busiest. Fortunately, the workers knew her, so they recognized her name when her order came through.

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The local Pizza Hut was careful to make the order perfect as Cheryl was a regular, and they wanted to make her happy. Little did they know how important this order was. Their first clue came when they spotted the special request on the order ticket. What the staff saw was a cause for alarm.


A Call for Help

Order tickets can contain more than just the specifics of the customer’s food request. Most fast-food chains also provide a space for people to write any special requirements. This could be something like “no cheese please” or “extra pepperoni.” However, Cheryl put it to another use. 

ABC Action News / YouTube

When staff saw Cheryl’s request, they were alarmed. It was something they had not seen before. It was also a message they couldn’t ignore. Cheryl explicitly asked for help by saying, “911hostage help!”


They Called The Cops

The Pizza Hut branch manager who saw Cheryl’s message was Candy Hamilton. She had been with the restaurant for almost three decades. She had tons of experience, and so she immediately knew something was up.

FOX 13 Tampa Bay / YouTube

Hamilton quickly realized that the message was not a prank. Since Cheryl was a Pizza Hut regular, the manager knew immediately that the message was out of the ordinary. She didn’t hesitate for a moment, calling the cops and giving them Cheryl’s address. 


The Wait of Her Life

Cheryl was worried. She didn’t know if the Pizza Hut staff would even pay attention to her special request. Even if they did read it, would they take her message seriously? What if they called the house to check?

Michael kotlowski / YouTube

The wait felt like a lifetime. Cheryl sat with Ethan in silence. She did not know what was going to happen. Nor did she know what Ethan would do next. Suddenly, police cars were in front of their house. Still, Cheryl knew she couldn’t relax. 


Cops Plan for the Worst

Fortunately, Ethan did not see the police vehicles outside of the house. Cheryl kept quiet. She knew that if he realized the police were there, he could become violent. Meanwhile, the cops had no idea what situation they would find inside.

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The only information they had about the family was given by the Pizza Hut manager. They knew they couldn’t just barge into the house because of the children involved. Before they could make their first move, Cheryl burst through the front door. 


Cheryl’s Escape

The police were surprised when they saw the front door swing open and Cheryl run out. She was sprinting towards them, carrying her youngest son. Though she was out of the house and with the police, the danger was far from over. 

NBC News / YouTube

She figured that her youngest child was the most vulnerable and so immediately grabbed him as she fled to the police officers. Given the circumstances, she could only take one of her children without alerting Ethan. However, the poor mother was consumed with fear for her other boys. 


Cops Calm Cheryl and Her Child

Cheryl approached Lt. Ludden. When the lieutenant saw her demeanor, he immediately knew that she had just gotten out of a very dire situation. He had to keep her calm so she could provide the other officers with detailed information.

FOX 13 Tampa Bay / YouTube

When Lt. Ludden learned that Cheryl’s other two children were still inside with her armed boyfriend, who was under the influence of drugs, he knew they had to take immediate action. The question was, would they make it in time? 


Ethan Needed to be Taken Down

It is fortunate that Lt. Ludden had experienced similar situations prior to responding to Cheryl’s case. He had enough knowledge to deal with whatever Ethan might do. However, the ideal outcome would be to defuse the situation and prevent Ethan from doing anything stupid.

WFLA News Channel 8 / YouTube

The police officer’s priority was to de-escalate the tension and prevent any lethal outcome. He and his fellow officers also had to think of the two kids left inside. As police spoke with Ethan, the situation grew even tenser. Then something unexpected happened after 20 minutes.


A Miracle Occurred

Cheryl was shocked to see Ethan slowly put down the knife he’d been holding and recklessly swinging around. The police were relieved they did not have to exert any force to get him to comply. 

WFLA News Channel 8 / YouTube

Ethan quietly walked out of the house and gave himself up to the police. He voluntarily surrendered, and he didn’t hurt anyone. It was the most miraculous thing that could have happened. Cheryl was elated. Though her kids were a bit shaken, they were all safe. 


Quick Thinking is Important

Ethan’s face was immediately plastered all over the local Florida news channels. Thanks to the quick thinking of Pizza Hut manager Candy Hamilton, the cops were alerted to the incident, and everyone was saved. 


The incident solidified the value of responding quickly to any request for urgent help. It also shows the importance of paying attention to the people around you and being open to taking action if something seems wrong. This next story further highlights just how important this attitude is. 


It Seemed Like Another Normal Day

This was not the only emergency situation to involve a popular fast-food restaurant. An employee from Chick-fil-A was completing a drive-thru window order when he heard a strange cry coming from the vehicle. Thankfully, he didn’t just mind his own business.

YouTube / Xceed Media

Similar to the Pizza Hut incident, employees had to intervene when they saw the emergency. The store manager, Logan Simmons, was aware of standard practices they must adhere to, but this situation had never come up in their training.  


Rush Hour

Logan was doing his job in the kitchen. He was working on orders for the dinner rush. As usual, requests were received via the drive-thru window, but when one particular customer’s car pulled up, he immediately noticed something seemed off. 

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The passengers in this car were not the usual happy, hungry customers. In the vehicle, he saw a mother and a child. Though this sounds normal, the shocking interaction that followed will stay with Logan for the rest of his life. 


What was Happening?

Logan did not find anything wrong with the scene at first. A woman was in the driver’s seat. Behind her sat a small child who was fidgeting with something and moving around a lot. He sensed that the two were communicating. 

YouTube / Valley Spotlight

However, there was something odd about the way they were talking. Their conversation was frantic, and both seemed to be in panic mode. Logan could not immediately make sense of what was going on in this car, but it didn’t seem right. 


No One Knew What to Do

Employees are trained to complete customers’ orders as quickly as they possibly can. Based on what Chick-fil-A staff saw inside the car, it was clear that the child was not interested in food. So, why were they at a fast-food restaurant? 

YouTube / Chick-Fil-A LakePoint Media

The child was definitely crying out for something, but it was not a toy, meal, or soda. None of the employees could understand what the child wanted. The child’s mother seemed to have no idea how to handle the situation either. 


Drive-thru Help

The driver of the vehicle had no choice but to pull up to the window of the drive-thru. She asked to speak to the restaurant’s staff. It was the only thing she could think to do at that time.

YouTube / Valley Spotlight

It was at this moment when the stunned Chick-fil-A workers learned what was going on. The driver of the car was the child’s mother. She was not asking for soda. She was not asking for a chicken sandwich. She was asking for help.


Seatbelt Situation

As it turns out, the boy in the car had gotten tangled in the seatbelt, and it was making it difficult for him to breathe. The mother did not know what to do. There were no places for her to quickly pull up. Plus, the boy was struggling to escape from being tangled.

Instagram / @alex_imperfected

Unfortunately, his efforts were only making the situation worse. The more he tried to free himself, the tighter the belt circled his neck. He was helpless as he got more tangled every time he moved.


Asking for Help

The child’s mother was in a panic. She went to the drive-thru, hoping that someone would know what to do to save her boy. The Chick-fil-A workers were stunned. This was clearly not part of their training.

YouTube / Litretha

Saving the life of a child is about as far removed as you can get from their regular duties of frying chicken and making sandwiches. The manager, Logan, was at a loss. He did not know what to make of the situation and didn’t know what they could do to help.


Time was Running Out

According to Logan, he saw the boy struggling, and the belt was tightening around the child’s neck like a noose. Logan was shocked and was struggling to figure out the best way to handle the situation.

Inside Edition / YouTube

Time was running out. The poor boy was gasping for air, and the belt seemed hopelessly tangled around him. Logan saw that the child’s face was going from red to white. This fast-food store manager has no choice but to act and act fast. 


So Near, Yet So Far

Though the woman and her child were outside the drive-thru window, Chick-fil-A staff were inside the restaurant’s kitchen. The obstacle everyone faced was their location. Though the woman was right there at the window, the workers would have to head out through an exit and then around to the drive-thru lane.

YouTube / WSB-TV

Logan figured that if he ran out of the restaurant’s front or side door, the seconds lost would greatly affect the boy who was gasping for air inside the car. It might be too late. 


Going Out Through the Window

Logan’s quick thinking forced him to take action. He had no time to spare. He immediately climbed out the window of the drive-thru. It was a very narrow space, but he managed to pull himself through.

YouTube / WSB-TV

After a bit of a struggle, Logan found himself right in front of the customer’s car. He was out. It only took a few seconds and a very quick decision-making process. Logan had no time to think about what he was doing. His priority was to save the boy. 


Going Beyond the Call of Duty

Employees of Chick-fil-A sometimes need to go beyond what is expected of them. But this situation required them to go far beyond their usual responsibilities. Saving a life is clearly not in their handbook.

YouTube / Bon Appétit

However, Logan saw the struggling child and had to make a move. As he approached the boy inside the car, he asked the child’s mother if she would permit him to help. Of course, she agreed, but then Logan asked if he could do something she might find crazy.


Under the Knife

Fortunately, Logan was prepared for everything. He was carrying with him his trusty pocket knife. When the mother agreed to let him cut her son free, Logan used the pocket knife to cut the boy free. However, the belt was strong.


Logan did not give up. What felt like a long and arduous battle with the belt took only a few seconds. He continued cutting until he saw that the boy was free and no longer struggling to breathe. Relief was felt by all.


A Child’s Life is Saved

Logan was able to cut the belt without injuring himself or the child. When the boy was finally free, the child laid back on the seat. Logan immediately checked how the boy was doing. When he asked, ‘Hey, are you okay,’ he was pleased with how the boy responded. 


According to the Gainesville Times, Logan felt relieved when the boy started crying. It was more than enough for Logan to feel thankful that the kid was alive. He immediately knew that the boy could now breathe perfectly. 


Fast Food Hero

News of Logan’s actions spread quickly. Thanks to his ability to think on his feet and his calm response to the situation, a life was saved. The boy’s mother was amazed that Logan did not panic at all.

YouTube / WSB-TV

The kid’s mother explained that if the same thing happened to her, she would have run around in a frenzy and would not have known what to do. Logan was named a fast food hero, but his response to being given this title was unexpected. 


A Good Person

Logan was reluctant to accept the fame he received. He made attempts to deflect people’s perception of his actions as being heroic. Though he did save a life, he did not want to be famous.

YouTube / WSB-TV

Logan was more concerned with something far bigger. Rather than accepting his new fame, Logan was quick to let people know that he didn’t want adoration. He did not want attention to be placed on him. He was merely doing what the situation called him to do. 


Logan Felt Grateful

Though still a teen when the incident happened, Logan was happy that everyone involved was safe.  He was thankful that the mother and the child were okay. He knew that what happened was not about him.

YouTube / Mashed

When USA Today interviewed Logan, he expressed his shock at the incident as well as how it transpired. However, he also said that he feels grateful that he was able to help and that everything turned out fine. The story could have had a tragic end. 


A Pay Rise for Logan?

Despite his refusal to be called a hero, Logan cannot seem to escape people’s perceptions. He received more attention than he expected. Though people were not lining up in the streets to cheer him on, he was not prepared to handle the attention he was receiving.

YouTube / Mashed

When a news team asked if he would be receiving a raise for his good deed, Logan humbly responded that he might bring that up with his bosses. Clearly, his response shows he was not even thinking that he deserved a reward. 


Everyone Was Grateful

The news of his heroic actions spread everywhere. People shouted out his name when they saw him in the streets. Some supporters even went to Chick-fil-A just to see him in person. We bet his bosses were happy with all the extra customers he was attracting!

YouTube / Mashed

Many people visited the restaurant to thank him for his quick thinking and skills. Still, Logan felt he was just doing what anyone would have done in his position. He was just happy to help. 


A Fundraiser for Logan

Logan quickly amassed fans. When his heroic act became well known, many decided to create a fundraiser for him. They wanted to help Logan buy a new car. It seems people wanted to return the favor and help Logan out just as he helped out that mother and her son.

YouTube / Mashed

Part of Logan’s career plan was to work in real estate and have a flourishing career. His admirers are working hard to help him make his dream a reality. Many feel he deserves the blessings he is being given.


Best Customer Service Ever

Since his heroic deed, Logan has received tons of support in every aspect of his life. Though Chick-fil-A did not include heroism as part of employee training, Logan didn’t hesitate to go beyond what was expected of him.

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Logan received a new car to help him get to work. Previously, he had to get a ride to work at Chick-fil-A because he did not have his own car. The fundraiser on Novembersmiles.org helped him realize his dream of owning his own car – a well-deserved reward for a brave young man!