A branch of the popular IHOP pancake restaurant was embroiled in a controversy after a mother complained about the way her disabled son was treated while they were at the store.
Apparently, the restaurant’s general manager had an issue with William Bancrodt, a 3-year-old boy, who had no arms. Alexis, the mother of the boy, said that he sits on the table and uses his feet to eat and drink. But for some reason the manager was not fine with it and said that the child cannot sit on the table for ‘health department issues’.
Not just that, the manager also said that the kid was not allowed to touch the syrup dispensers using his feet for sanitary reasons. Well, though it had some sort of a point, the mother was not convinced and said that she washed the boy’s feet in the bathroom before they began eating.
She explained: “I asked her what’s the difference between hands and feet?
“I asked, ‘Do you ask all your customers if they’ve washed their hands before they touch the syrup dispensers fist?’”
The manager did return to apologise about what she did, Alexis and her family chose to leave for the way the kid was treated.
The mother explained: “Everybody was staring at us and everything. They were going to give us our food, but we decided to leave because of the way he was treated. He was discriminated against for not having arms.”
Meanwhile, some of the other customers were also disappointed with how he was treated. Alexis further added: “We go to multiple restaurants around our area, and no one has ever said anything about him. Most people are just amazed that he can even feed himself with his feet…
“Some people say it’s unsanitary for a kid to be seated on the table, but that’s how stuff happens in our household. My son sits on the table every single meal throughout the day.”
Both the manager and the IHOP company got in touch with Alexis after she posted about the incident on Facebook.
It was good to see the manager apologising for the second time by sending a private message via social media. Employees also contacted the mother and expressed their disappointment about the incident.
The company released a statement and said that it does not “tolerate actions that are allude to discrimination of any type,” promising they will “retrain” their staff “to ensure IHOP’s level of service, particularly regarding guests with disabilities, is provided to all”.