A woman in Pennsylvania is speaking out against the restaurant chain Golden Corral after getting kicked out of its Erie, Pa., location because of her outfit.
Sueretta Emke took to her Facebook to share her grievances from a visit to the family-style restaurant where she went with her husband, son and some friends to celebrate her son’s birthday. However, the group didn’t have the dining experience that they anticipated since they were ultimately asked to leave.
According to her post, the manager of the particular franchise told Emke that she was dressed “too provocatively” for the restaurant and suggested that she cover up. When asked what was inappropriate about her outfit, the manager couldn’t provide an answer.
“I have seen people in there wearing less and nothing is said to them,” Emke wrote, “but I really do believe something was said to me because im [sic] not thin so it’s not considered sexy.”
Emke went on to explain that her outfit was addressed by management because another customer allegedly complained. The restaurant does not have a dress code.
She tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the lack of dress code is something she confirmed with the franchise owner when she got in touch with them days after the incident. Still, Emke says he was unapologetic, which led her to get in touch with the regional training manager.
“I did call him and he listened to the situation and said he had actually already heard about it and that he was planning on doing re-training at that location with the staff because at the very least, even if say 10 customers had complained, the situation was still not handled correctly,” Emke explains. “He apologized profusely and is supposed to be sending me some gift cards to use at another location because I never want to go back there again, and he was very understanding about that.”
Emke shared the update with her Facebook friends who were following the story, and received praise for standing up for herself. Ultimately, however, Emke says that she felt the need to do something about the way she was treated so that nobody else has to experience the same thing.
“How can you not have a dress code but then make one up for certain customers if another customer complains? That's not ok. It is discrimination,” Emke says. “You’re saying that for whatever reason that customer and their experience is more important than the next person and their experience. And if you are ok with that, where are you going to draw the line?”
Golden Corral didn’t immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. Emke says that she is hopeful after the regional manager shared his plans with her to retrain his staff and to hire more women managers at his locations to avoid unfair treatment of female customers. Although she doesn’t plan to wear the crop top again, according to her post.
“I've never owned a crop top before and I was nervous at first about wearing it but my husband loved the way it looked on me and encouraged me to wear it since I liked it so much,” she wrote. “I really felt cute in it and now I never wanna wear that shirt again.”
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