Fast-food Branch Closes Because of a Viral Social Media Post

April 11, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. rudeness /ˈrudnɪs/ (n.) – the quality of being disrespectful
Example: The manager fired the employee who showed rudeness to a customer.

2. viral /ˈvaɪ rəl/ (adj.) – becoming popular after spreading on the Internet
Example: Her blogpost went viral within a week.

3. twist /twɪst/ (n.) – an unexpected occurrence or series of events
Example: The investigation‘s twist happened when the victim changed her story.

4. missing /ˈmɪs ɪŋ/ (adj.) – being gone and cannot be found
Example: The child has gone missing after playing outside.

5. track down /træk daʊn/ (phrasal v.) – to find someone by looking for clues or evidence
Example: The police will track down the location of the missing child.


Read the text below.
A McDonald’s restaurant branch in Pune [POO-nuh], India, has closed after a customer posted about the rudeness of one of its employees on social media.

One evening, Shaheena Attarwala went to the store with her friends to buy Coke floats in the store. A street child, who called himself Aakash, begged for one. Attarwala offered to buy him a drink and accompanied the child inside the store. However a staff member refused to let him in, saying beggars are not allowed inside. She still bought the drink and took a photo with the child. She shared the incident through a Facebook post and the story went viral.

A few hours after posting the story, Attarwala received a call from a McDonald’s representative in the said branch. The caller said the employee acted that way for security purposes. Nonetheless, McDonald’s closed the specific branch and assured further investigation on the employee involved. In addition, McDonald’s launched a televised Public Relations (PR) campaign featuring street children, including Aakash, receiving free food. It was held at different store branches in India.

The PR campaign resulted in a twist as a man who watched the ad claimed to be Aakash’s father. Hasnain Musharraf identified the boy as his son Raju who went missing in April 2012. He reported the incident to the police long ago but investigations were unsuccessful. The authorities assured to track down the kid and verify if he is really Musharraf’s son.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Should beggars be allowed inside a restaurant? Why or why not?
·         How do you think the employee should be reprimanded?

Discussion B

·         How common are street children in your country? 
·         What do you think should be done to fight child trafficking? 

April 11, 2015