Well, should I send this letter to this lousy establishment?

Posted on: Sat, 07/24/2004 - 12:43pm
AlwaysAvoidAnaphylaxis's picture
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Joined: 06/23/2001 - 09:00

We had a miserable experience at your establishment today. Our child has life threatening food allergies to 3 of the top food allergens ([url]http://www.foodallergy.org[/url]). In order to keep him safe, he is required to only eat food from home. As we always do when he attends a birthday party, we brought the same food from home for him to eat at the birthday party today while others ate the party food.

As I looked to warm his food in a microwave, I was directed to the manager. I interrupted him as he was watching television in the Billiards room. I was informed by the manager that I was not allowed to bring in food from the outside under no circumstances and in no uncertain terms. I explained to him that our child was 5 and was hungry and needed to have safe food to eat and that he could not eat any food from xxxxx.

Obviously the manager is completely uneducated about food allergies. He told me that our child could eat anything they had to offer and that we could read ingredient labels 'together'. I tried to inform him that currently in the USA, ingredient labels are incorrect 25% of the time. I tried to inform him that our child could die if there is cross contamination with the foods he is allergic to. Nevertheless, he was completely unwilling to help us.

As a result, our child had to sit in the room with 20 other children while they ate pizza and chicken nuggets and he could not eat his food.

What did i say to our child? I told him that the manager is so intent on making money by selling only the food in their establishment that he was not willing to allow a child to eat a few chicken nuggets from home.

So what does this mean for your establishment? This means that there was discrimination against our child with a disability. Food allergies are a disability as defined by the Americans with Disability Act.

How is your establishment going to handle this issue for the rapidly increasing number of children with food allergies? Prevent them from eating their own food and either forcing them to eat something that is potentially unsafe for them or eating nothing at all.

I expect a written explanation from the owners of the establishment as to why we were treated this way ----otherwise, I will contact the media to help me get an explanation as to why we were treated so poorly and insensitively when all we were trying to do was allow our child to have a safe and positive experience as he is growing up with food allergies.

Posted on: Sat, 07/24/2004 - 1:03pm
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Absolutely send it! It is wonderfully written and gets your points across very well.
I am shocked that your child was treated this way. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
Keep us posted.
Miriam

Posted on: Sat, 07/24/2004 - 1:22pm
AlwaysAvoidAnaphylaxis's picture
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Joined: 06/23/2001 - 09:00

I think I will. I may send it anonymously and ask for a reply on this discussion board. How about that----maybe they need to respond to us all as a group and I can put in their location and info here and we can all call and voice our opinions about this.......

Posted on: Sat, 07/24/2004 - 1:27pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

AlwaysAvoidAnaphylaxis, I say go for it! Was the restaurant part of a chain?
As far as directing them to this website, I have no idea.
The letter is great though and I am very sorry for your son. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sat, 07/24/2004 - 1:46pm
momma2boys's picture
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

Send it. But I think they owe YOU and YOUR CHILD the apology personally. If you want to post the response thats fine, but I would sign it. I think it will get taken more seriously and you will actually get a response. I think they may ignore your request to post here.
If you are threatening that they discriminated against your child this is the first documentation of that, so I would sign it and send it registered mail so that you have proof they received it. Maybe scare them a little.
Keep us posted.

Posted on: Sat, 07/24/2004 - 11:54pm
Going Nuts's picture
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Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

AAA, DH and I have found that letters like that are a very effective way of getting response when we couldn't do so any other way (like threatening a car dealership with a letter to Car & Driver, local media, etc. when they refused to fix a problem on a car still under warranty!).
Additionally, we would actually write the letter to the media, enclose a copy and tell the recipient that the letter would be mailed by such and such a date if they did not fix the car. Highly, highly effective.
Go forth and kick butt. That manager deserves it. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Amy

Posted on: Sun, 07/25/2004 - 3:15am
Cindia's picture
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Joined: 06/05/2001 - 09:00

I can't believe the behavior of that manager!
Please send in the letter! Also, I recommend that you don't do it anonymously. It would be a good example to your son. He may have to be doing the same thing in a few years! (unfortunately...)
I would not want him to somehow think it was his fault or that he should be embarrassed somehow. Proudly sign your name with information on how to get ahold of you. If the situation is not rectified to your satisfaction, please let us know. Perhaps we can start a letter campaign to "educate" them.
good luck,
Cindia

Posted on: Sun, 07/25/2004 - 6:32am
cathlina's picture
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Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

Did this happen in the U.S.? File a complaint with your state Civil Rights office.
The level of ignorance that the manager exhibited probably won't be cured with a letter!

Posted on: Sun, 07/25/2004 - 12:46pm
AlwaysAvoidAnaphylaxis's picture
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Joined: 06/23/2001 - 09:00

You are all so great!!! It did happen in the USA. I am going to send it and registered mail sounds like a great idea. I can send it directly to the manager I interacted with since I don't know who the owners are ....yet..........or i will find out who it is best to send it to.
We had another problem a week earlier in Myrtle Beach----------read this letter!! I am just tired of people who either cannot do their job or don't do it well::
Hello. We were guests at the Kingston Plantation in July 2004 and visit often.
We have a young child with life threatening food allergies to nuts, dairy, and egg. Several months before our visit, I had contacted your hotel and spoke with a very gracious and helpful Chef about planning one safe dinner for our child during our stay. We had communicated several times in order to plan the meal and ways to make a safe meal for our child.
We were so excited as a family to eat at the restaurant in your hotel. The children were looking forward to it and asking about it. We had packed our groceries and food for our trip and took into account a meal at a restaurant when planning what to pack.
Five hours before we were to eat at your restaurant, I received a phone call from the Chef. He said that we were not able to eat at your restaurant after all. He said that just that day, he had mentioned our upcoming visit to the restaurant to a 'corporate person' and that this corporate person did not want to have us dine in one of the restaurants because our child's life threatening food allergies possessed too much potential liability for the hotel.
So, in the middle of my vacation, I had to drop what I was doing, leave the pool, go to the room, change my clothes, go to the grocery store, buy groceries for dinner and then spend the rest of the afternoon making it. That turned out not to be a vacation for me. Also, it was a huge disappointment for our family and children-----------why were we notified 5 hours before our dinner reservation that we could not come when we had been planning this months in advance? Is that professional?
This raises many questions about your establishment of which I will outline here.
1. The 'corporate person' was discriminating against a child with food allergies and forbidding us from coming to the restaurant even though the chef was confident that he could make a safe meal for our child. Food allergies are a disability and are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
2. All individuals with food allergies are just as sensitive as our child----food allergic reactions are unpredictable and just because all prior reactions are mild does not mean that the next one will be mild also. So, how is your establishment going to make safe meals for the many Americans with food allergies in the future? Food allergies are more and more common and are on the rise. Is your policy going to be to exclude all individuals with food allergies from your restaurants?
I am dissatisfied with the lack of professionalism at your hotel, how this situation was handled by your staff and how you do not have a plan in place for guests with food allergies.
Marriott was exceptionally professional and we have been able to dine in their resorts without difficulty.
I expect a written response to my concerns.

Posted on: Sun, 07/25/2004 - 1:08pm
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

I think [b]both[/b] of your letters are excellent. I would try to find someone who is "above" the ignorant, useless manager you have already spoken with. He may just tear it up. I don't know how you would go about that, though. Perhaps you could ask a different employee who the owner is and how you could reach them? If it is a chain then I think you should go for the top person.
I agree with the others that you should sign your name. I am not as crazy about getting them involved with posting here. I think you have every right to post your correspondence, however.
Good luck,
Miriam

Posted on: Mon, 07/26/2004 - 10:56am
deegann's picture
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Joined: 07/27/2003 - 09:00

.
[This message has been edited by deegann (edited August 26, 2004).]

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