Children In Restaurants: Manager Orders Child To Remove Squeaky Shoes
CHILDREN in Restaurants Watch – Part 2: The Squeaky Shoes.
“They want to help children with disabilities and this was just something that happened in their cafe and they are not proud of it,” says Catherine Duke.
Last week, an assistant manager at a Savannah Panera Bread, told Duke’s 2-year-old daughter to remove her shoes. A customer had complained they were squeaking “too much”. “We weren’t welcome with the shoes. It was very blatant,” adds Duke. “Emma has an undiagnosed developmental disorder that prevented her from walking until she was 23-months-old. These are special shoes. They squeak when she walks properly.”
“It is not good for her to walk without her shoes because her ankles could twist and have all sorts of problems. It was very hurtful, and I left the store crying, not a very good thing for a mom to feel like her child is being discriminated against.”
Anorak always has had a soft spot for unreasonable restaurateurs. It is their place, and rules should be as arcane as they can make them. We enjoyed this French cafe, which offers discounts for politeness. Basil Fawlty was, of course, the most famous intolerant host. In South Shields, one eatery ordered diners to clear their plates, or else. Brighton’s Tea Cosy instituted a set of rules. Then owner David Daly forbade anyone from resting their elbows on the table, insulting the Queen, handling sugar cubes and sipping from teaspoons, which must never be allowed to chink against the cup.
Less well known is John Fothergill, mein host at the Spread Eagle in Thame in the 1920s and 30s, writer of the Innkeeper’s Diary, dramatised for BBC2 in 1981:
The fellow said, ‘I’ll never come here again,’ to which I replied, ‘Yes, but will you give me another undertaking: to tell all your friends not to come?’”
* Fothergill was the contumacious dandy for ever locked in combat with ‘clients’ who fell short of his standards, a man prepared to track down and rebuke a brigadier-general who, with his wife, dropped in to the Spreadeagle to use the lavatory without a please or thank you. Sharp-eyed in his white jacket and buckled shoes, he was quick to challenge those who aspired to use his premises for unhallowed coupling. (Client: ‘You think you can ask everyone who comes here if they are married?’ – ‘Yes, if I want to.’)
And Kim Tickell, aka Kim Joseph Hollick de la Taste Tickell, who ran the Tickell Arms outside Cambridge until his death in 1990.
* After parking carefully you approached the front door, on which was posted a long handwritten list of house rules – No Long-Haired Lefties, No Tee Shirts, No Trainers, No CND-ers and so on. The Squire himself usually presided over his empire in 18th century style attire including knee breeches and an eye glass. He was spectacularly rude, usually for no good reason, and was prone to outrageous behaviour. He once poured the ice bucket down a customer’s trousers because his shirt had come untucked and he was therefore “undressed”. A large pair of scissors was kept behind the bar so he could snip off any ties which offended him. Should a customer not have parked sufficiently neatly, he would call out their number plates through a megaphone, demanding they adjust the vehicle now. The walls were adorned with large weapons which he sometimes used for chasing people out of the building.
Classical music, generally Wagner, blared out but both the interior and garden were entirely charming (as they still are). The real ale, served from unmarked porcelain pumps, was Adnams Bitter, mostly warm and with bits in. The food tended to excellence so long as, for instance, you didn’t mind finding pieces of shot in your pheasant.
Next time play this: