A mother of 3 is speaking out after she said a manager asked her family to leave an Outback Steakhouse because he received a noise complaint about her son, who has a neurological disorder that affects his speech.
Amanda Jean Braun was at Outback Steakhouse in Glen Burnie, Md. with her family on Saturday when a manager walked up to her table.
“This gentleman said that he received a noise complaint for my child,” she wrote on Facebook. “He said that he was very uncomfortable coming to our table to tell us that but unfortunately we needed to finish our meals and leave.”
In her Facebook post, Braun wrote that her 4-year-old, Killian, was born with childhood apraxia of speech, which affects him “in many ways.”
“He is a very energetic kid with much to say, however when he speaks his words are unclear.”
Braun wrote she “was in total shock” by the request. She did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment, but in an interview with WJLA, she said that her son was making some noise, but it “wasn’t constant.”
"Our son stayed with us in our booth. There weren’t many people around us as we were seated in the very back of the restaurant to accommodate our party size,” she explained to the news station.
In her post, she wrote that the manager’s actions constituted discrimination, and though he offered her $20 in restaurant credit, she has no plans to visit the establishment again.
“Why would I subject my son and the rest of my family to that type of discrimination?” her Facebook post reads. “What would ever make me want to return? Would we be asked to leave again if my son were to be loud? This is not ok and I’m not stopping here. I will be in contact with corporate.”
A spokesperson for Outback Steakhouse tells Yahoo Lifestyle that they have apologized to Braun and her family.
“We strive to make sure all guests feel comfortable and welcomed in our restaurants and we fell short,” the spokesperson says. “We’re learning from what happened and training our team so we can better serve our diverse guest population.”
Dozens of people commented on the mother’s post, and many were furious with the way the situation was handled as well as with the person who made the complaint to begin with.
“I’m so sorry for your mistreatment. The fact that someone actually complained about ‘the noise’ is what bothers me most,” one person wrote. “The adults that complained need to be taught to accept differently-abled people with different expectations and grace. To embrace the beauty in our differences as human beings. The manager who said he ‘felt bad’ should be enabled by his corporate company on how to engage unnecessary complaints and address the real problem of insensitivity.”
Another person added, “The correct action should have been to offer the person complaining a table in another area or offering to comp THEIR meal so they could leave quickly, so this family could enjoy a night out. Shame on Outback. I think this manager needs to be re-trained on how to handle complaints and etiquette on how to treat people. I am really sorry that this happened to you.”
However, according to WJLA, Braun isn’t angry anymore, she’s only concerned and wants people to use this incident as an example to learn how to treat families with children who “suffer challenges.”
"The anger has subsided and I'm left with sadness for my son and his future struggles of being in public," the mom said.
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