Working in fast food has become a modern rite of passage. From high schoolers looking for their first job to college students trying to score some extra cash, almost everyone knows someone who has done hard time behind the fast food line.

And while these fast food jobs can get monotonous quickly, one Chick-fil-A employee survived a shift that was anything but. Because after he heard a strange cry through the drive-thru window, he was thrown into a life-or-death scenario he never signed up for.

Logan Simmons was a 19-year-old living just north of Atlanta, Georgia. Like many other teens, he’d taken a fast food job, working as the manager of a Chick-fil-A. He was also earning his real estate license, hoping to turn his interest in the housing market into a full-time career.

Austin Steele/ The Gainesville Times

Chick-fil-A is known for great service; it’s frequently hailed as one of the most polite chains in the country. And while Logan was well-versed in the company’s customer service practices, nothing could have prepared him for his next interaction with a mother and her child.

Logan was standing in the kitchen preparing for the dinner rush when a car pulled up to the drive-thru window. Something was different though. This car wasn’t full of hungry customers demanding some fresh chicken sandwiches.

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Logan could see a woman driving the car and a small child fidgeting in the back. The pair seemed to be communicating with each other, but the conversation seemed very frantic. Something strange was going on.

See, even with limited context, the employees could tell the child wasn’t asking for soda or pleading for a kids’ meal complete with a toy. Whatever he wanted, his mother wasn’t quite sure how to handle it.

In the middle of this interaction, she pulled up to the drive-thru window to speak to the employees. That’s why her situation became clear: instead of wanting a soda or chicken, she and her son wanted help — and quickly.

Somehow, the boy had gotten tangled in his seat belt and was struggling to breathe! Even worse, like a desperate animal, his frantic attempts to free himself were actually tightening the belt around his neck!

The panicked woman was hoping that someone in the restaurant would be able to save her child, but the workers were stunned. Saving a little boy was a bit different than frying chicken and serving drinks. Logan saw this all unfolding.

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“You could see [the boy] struggling and it getting tighter and tighter,” Logan said. “He was turning red and losing pigmentation in his face.” The manager knew someone had to act quickly.

There was an issue, however: location. Logan was in the kitchen with the rest of his team while the boy was struggling in a car idling outside the restaurant. If Logan ran out the front door, it would be too late.

So, Logan sprung into action…literally. He took a step back to brace himself and then climbed through the drive-thru window. It was a tight squeeze, but afterward, he was standing in front of the car.

Chick-fil-A employees frequently go above and beyond, but asking Logan to save a life went beyond anything taught in the employee handbook. Still, the child was still struggling, so in a moment of desperation, Logan asked the woman for permission to do something crazy.

Logan quickly grabbed for his trusty pocket knife. He hacked and sawed at the belt, but it proved sturdy — it was tough to cut through. He kept at it, cutting for seconds that surely felt like hours.

“I cut it down and he laid back in the seat, and I was immediately like, ‘Hey, are you OK,’” Logan told the Gainesville Times. “He was crying then, and I knew he was breathing perfectly fine if he could cry.”

Logan’s quick thinking didn’t go unnoticed. “I’m amazed he didn’t panic,” Logan’s mother, Teri, explained. “As his mother, I would have panicked. I’d be running around going ‘oh my gosh, what do we do?'” Logan, however, had an unexpected response.

Rather than accept his new fame, Logan was quick to deflect it. While he had done something amazing, he hadn’t done it seeking fame or a TV interview. His main concern was something bigger.

Ever the manager, Logan was mainly concerned with keeping everyone safe.”I’m just so thankful everyone is okay,” he told USA Today. “I’m still a little shocked by what happened but am grateful I was able to help.”

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Despite that sentiment, Logan was still being hailed as a hero. And while locals didn’t gather to watch him soar across the sky, his actions did bring more attention than he was prepared to handle.

Logan explained that, in addition to all of the press coverage, people were cheering for him and shouting his name in the streets! Some locals have even visited the restaurant for a chance to thank him in person.

As word about his heroism spread, Logan’s admirers put together a fundraiser for him, hoping to raise money for Logan to buy his own car. That would go along way in helping lock down a career in real estate! Logan’s got another plan to help him there, though.

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In light of recent events, Logan is considering asking for a raise! And while Chick-fil-A didn’t train him on how to save lives, he’s definitely taken their customer service to new heights — though he has competition.

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Like most people living alone, 99-year-old Stephen Bellissimo enjoyed his routine. Every day he buttoned up a collared shirt, slid into a blazer, and, when he felt hungry, drove to his favorite restaurant in Oldsmar, Florida.

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The restaurant, about six miles outside of Tampa, wasn’t far from his home. It didn’t serve juicy steaks, and it wasn’t a diner with one friendly waitress who served never-ending free coffee. But he loved it all the same.

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Stephen couldn’t get enough of the classic fried chicken sandwich — with two pickles and a buttered bun! — from his local Chik-fil-A. And there, the man nearing his 100th birthday developed quite a reputation…

Because every day for nearly 20 years, he ordered the same meal and sat in the same booth (for hours), without fail. For the employees, he became a beacon of comfort — the kindly man you just knew would smile at you. They called him “Mr. Steve.”

Stephen “makes everyone here feel loved and welcomed,” Chick-fil-A marketing director, Brittani Craft, said. He told anyone who would listen that he wanted nothing more than to live to be 100. But just before his 100th birthday, he suffered an accident.

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Either through an act of carelessness or feebleness, Stephen fell down. While the fall didn’t induce any life-threatening damage, the rest of Stephen’s family started worrying — could the aging man live on his own anymore?

After some hard conversations, Stephen did what was best for his health and moved in with his son. He lived far from the Chik-fil-A, and soon, Stephen’s six weekly visits were reduced to just one on Friday afternoons.

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On that day, Stephen ordered his chicken sandwich, sat in his same booth, and stayed for hours. On the other days, employees glanced hopefully at Mr. Steve’s empty booth, waiting for a man who wouldn’t be coming.

And while happy he still had the strength to eat his favorite chicken after his fall, Stephen longed for his daily talks with the fast food employees he’d grown so fond of. So when his 100th birthday finally arrived, he knew just where he wanted to go.


On September 21, 2018, Stephen and his son went to that Oldsmar Chik-fil-A. The 100-year-old led the way, excited to be in his favorite place — but the restaurant looked different.

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Eyes wide, Stephen looked around the restaurant where he’d spent about 20,000 hours of his life over the past two decades. “Oh my God,” he said, incredulous. “What’s going on?”

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Dozens of helium-filled red balloons bobbed against the ceiling, party hats sat atop the tables, a giant cardboard check clung to the back wall, and a bright banner hung above a window just beside the front counter.

And before Stephen could get a full grasp on his surroundings, Chik-fil-A employee Brittani Craft — cheered on by a few well-dressed guests — wrapped the 100-year-old up in a tight, sincere hug. Only then, did he read the banner.

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It read, “Happy 100th Birthday, Mr. Steve!” Soon, Stephen was enveloped in love by Chik-fil-A employees and restaurant guests who frequently visited Stephen at his booth. But there was even more to the celebration.

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With a hand on his shoulder, Brittani delivered the grand finale. “Mr. Steve,” she said, “we want to give you Chick-fil-A for the rest of your life…you’re getting it for free!”

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“I come here to eat Chik-fil-A for free?” he clarified. When she said yes, his smile could’ve warmed a Scandinavian winter. “My God!” he said. “This is the best gift I could ever receive!” But the elderly man had one concern…

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“Can I get my same booth?” he asked with delight. Of course, he could, and birthday cake, gifts, and a card with hand-written messages from restaurant employees. Stephen was overwhelmed.

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But it was Brittani and the Chik-fil-A staff’s pleasures to throw the surprise party. “It’s so heartwarming to watch him affect everyone here,” she said. Stephen, meanwhile, wasn’t going to let his gift go to waste.

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Still smiling — and perhaps thinking of a chicken sandwich with two pickles on a buttered bun — the 100-year-old man announced, “instead of coming once a week, now I’m coming every day!”

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