After asking a family to leave his restaurant because their autistic child was disrupting other diners, a manager took to Reddit to voice his concerns.
Sometimes we all get stuck between a rock and a hard place. Imagine being a restaurant owner serving African-American families while a child with autism screams racial slurs for all to hear—what do you do? Now that's what we call tough decision-making. Reddit user BetchyGlynch, unfortunately, was confronted with this exact situation less than a week ago. While we're all unsure of our decisions sometimes, this user was particularly anxious about whether he offended the family with the autistic child (and other diners, too), which is, of course, a natural moral dilemma to experience. He took to the forum "Am I the As*h*le?" in order to figure out if he did the right thing.
He wrote, "My wife and I run a small mom and pop restaurant in the United States. We are always busy on Friday nights; When we are filled to capacity we have 300+ [guests] in our restaurant. We welcome people and groups from all backgrounds and all walks of life. We do not discriminate against anyone and take care of every customer like they are family." Sounds convincing enough. But then again, most of these posts tend to start out that way. He then went on to explain what exactly went down on Friday night.
The Reddit user continued, "There was a family that came in last week from out of town with a special needs child. He was being very loud the whole time and screaming. I politely asked the family if they could calm him, as we were filled to capacity and the screaming was disturbing half the guests in our restaurant." That sounds harmless enough, doesn't it? "He calmed down," BetchyGlynch went on. "Then about five minutes later he started back again, except this time he was cursing and screaming racial slurs at an African-American family sitting behind them. This is where I drew the line. The mother was distraught about it and apologized [profusely], but I couldn’t let them stay." It's not always easy to take a call like this when you're a restaurant owner. But, thankfully, he was incredibly sweet in his request for them to leave.
"I asked them to leave, though I did give them 50% off their meal (I don’t feel like I should have)," he explained. And to make things better, he even let the African-American family eat their meal on the house. BetchyGlynch stated, "I let the African American family eat for free and gave them a voucher for a free order of hot wings, which they said they would use soon. My thought process is, they were using slander and racist slurs against a large percentage of our clientele. I couldn’t have that."
However, while he believed he did the right thing for everyone involved, his family wasn't as supportive. "Am I the as*h*le?" He asked. "My family tells me that I singled them out and embarrassed them in front of everyone, but if this was a national chain they were in doing this then they would have been kicked out immediately with no exceptions." Needless to say, everyone agreed that the Reddit user did the best he could, which, ultimately, seemed to be the best solution. Shikonnotama, for instance, responded, "[Not the as*h*le]. I do think they deserved the discount. Not because I think they're entitled to it (you're free to do as you'd like with your discounts) but sometimes people just need a break. The kid was obviously not great for your business but I'm sure these guys just want to have a nice dinner out like any other family. It didn't work out and they had to leave. You handled it all really well. Obviously, you're not obligated to give anyone sympathy discounts but small gestures of kindness and understanding make the world a better place." It's good to know that there are still people out there who approach sticky and tough situations with a sense of empathy and heartfelt compassion.