Note: we are republishing this story amid a surge in reported confrontations between food workers and customers during the pandemic. More on that here: https://www.today.com/food/food-workers-discuss-pandemic-confrontations-angry-customers-t224537
An Arby’s branch in Elk River, Minnesota is facing controversy and backlash after posting a sign demanding little children to be well-behaved, or else they will be asked to leave.
The sign showed a bold-printed “NOTICE” note and read: “Only well behaved children who can keep their food on their trays and their bottoms on their seats are welcome. If you can't do this you will be asked to leave. Thanks."
According to a report from KARE-TV, a customer, Christine Hemsworth was outraged when she saw the sign when she visited with her three kids.
"I was like 'Oh, gosh,” she said. “I've got a 2-year-old with me and he doesn't always keep his fries on the tray or his bottom on the seat. He sometimes stands up."
Hemsworth also said that instead of enjoying the food, she had an "uncomfortable and stressful meal," fearing that her kids would anger the branch management and was constantly worried about kid’s actions during the whole ordeal.
She also mentioned that she already previously ate at the branch’s location before, but was surprised when the sign had been put up, as it was not previously added and was relatively new.
She then tried to call the corporate hotline of Arby’s before she left, but did not receive a reply and instead got an automated message.
"I'm not a complainer — I'm really not,” she said. “But this just didn't sit well with me. The manager could have addressed the message to people individually, not assigned it to the general public," she said later in her Facebook page, which later went viral.
The company issued an official statement to apologize for the situation but did not directly message Hemsworth regarding the issue.
"We recognize the language on this sign was insensitive. We removed it quickly, and have disciplined the manager and team working at the restaurant. It does not reflect our company values and the family-friendly environment we aim to provide in all of our restaurants.” the spokesperson said.