Cody Bondarchuk shared his confession at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.
As of late Monday morning, his message had been retweeted 79,000 times and liked close to 900,000 times.
Thrilled readers have been replying with messages like: “Not all heroes wear capes,” “An angel walks among us,” “Heroes in hairnets,” and, “Sort of like Robin Hood.”
The thread also inspired others in the restaurant service industry to share their stories of adding a little extra to customers’ orders to make their day.
“A lot of people have been sharing their own stories about larger ice cream cones or putting extra fries in a bag,” Bondarchuk said. “It’s nice to see.”
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“A lot of people have been commenting too that in a time with a lot of bad news and in a tough political climate, it was just kind of a feel-good story that people wanted to latch on to.”
Bondarchuk said he was 14 years old when he started his first job at the fast-food chain in 2007.
The location was mostly drive-through so he didn’t have a lot of direct interaction with people. Still, he liked to think customers would go home, see the extra nugget and smile.
“You hear a lot of those stories about people that often they’ll come through a drive through and are shorted things — they’re missing fries, they’re missing a straw — so my co-workers and I decided it would just be a feel-good thing to give people that bonus nugget.
“Just to give people a bit of extra joy in their day,” he added. “I know what that feels like and I wanted to pay it forward.”
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One person online asked if there’s a statute of limitations on nugget theft, to which Bondarchuk replied: “I hope so,” adding he thinks he would owe McDonald’s about $1,600.
Bondarchuk now works in politics.
“My job is non-partisan,” he said, adding, “I’m happy to say I don’t do anything with financial transactions.”
Bondarchuk said he hasn’t heard from McDonald’s since making his confession.
“Although, if I were them, I would think it encourages people to buy more nuggets because they might just find an extra one in there.
“So, if anything, they might be getting more business from this.”