Couple who fell in love at McDonald’s celebrate anniversary 27 years later at exact same branch
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If there's one thing bound to bring people together, it's a Maccies. Just ask Mark and Cindi Franceschina.
The couple met 27 years ago, and have since got married, welcomed children into the world, oh - and eaten a lot of McDonald's.
It all started on 9 February, 1996, when Mark pulled into a McDonald's in Racine, Wisconsin on a 'gorgeous' day. He was going to go through the drive-thru, but the long queue made him think twice so he got out of the car to head into the restaurant on foot.
Inside, he joined the line to order his food. A line which just so happened to include his future wife, Cindy.
Recalling the moment to ABC7, Mark said: "She said 'Hi' to me and she smiled and when she smiled, I was like 'Man, wow. She's beautiful. I have to talk to her'."
Unfortunately, by the time he'd picked up his food and gone outside, Cindy was already at her car.
What happened next probably wasn't the best approach, but it was the one Mark went with.
He explained: "She got to her car, stopped and turned back at me. I was like 'Well, it's a done deal. I have got to go after her now. I got to chase her down! Wherever she goes, I'm going to follow her. I don't care if she goes to Chicago, Milwaukee. Wherever she stops, I just have to stop and talk to her.'"
Thankfully Mark didn't have to chase Cindy across state lines - just to a nearby car wash. She admitted she was a bit startled when he approached and immediately thought the worst: "Serial killer?"
Mark quickly won her over with his 'amazing' first line though, saying: "Hi, remember me?"
The pair got talking and Mark asked Cindy out. Nearly three decades later, it's safe to say the date went well.
Now, every February, the pair celebrate their anniversary by returning to the same McDonald's where they met, without ever having to voice plans to do so.
"Every year after that, we just never said anything to each other, we just always showed up, at noon, at this McDonald's," Cindi said. "There were years I was like 'Oh, he better show up. If he forgets!' But we never have. Without fail, we've both always showed up and had lunch without reminding each other of anything."
They were forced to change their tradition slightly when the pandemic hit, at that point having no choice but to take the drive-thru, but they've always made sure to get their McDonald's.
Their latest visit to the restaurant proved even more special as the company surprised the couple with 27 roses and a table decorated with a table cloth and sweet treats.
After explaining that they only have 'more fun' together as they grow older, Mark and Cindy are hopeful their tale will inspire others not to give up on love.
"Commitment works. Relationships work if you work at it," Mark said. "If you put effort into it and choose to make it work."