A Maryland woman says that she and her son were asked to leave an Outback Steakhouse because the 4-year-old with special needs was being “loud,” Yahoo News reports.
Amanda Braun is the mom of 4-year-old Killian. Killian has a neurological condition known as childhood apraxia of speech, which means that the signals between his brain and his mouth get confused. That means that, among other times, he might speak at a higher-than-normal volume.
And so it was that, according to Washington’s WJLA-TV, they were at the Outback location in Glen Burnie, Maryland, on Saturday night, when Killian’s disability became a problem for another customer. Specifically, she says that the manager came to her table and made small talk with her before apologetically telling her that he’d received a “noise complaint” about Killian. The manager reportedly told her to “finish our meals and leave.” By way of an apology, the manager purportedly offered the family a $20 gift card.
Gift card or no gift card, Braun says that she and her family won’t be going back to Outback Steakhouse, as she writes on Facebook.
“Needless to say there isn’t going to be a later date. Why would I subject my son and the rest of my family to that type of discrimination? What would ever make me want to return?” she writes.
A family says they are left heartbroken and saddened after they were asked to leave an Outback Steakhouse restaurant in Glen Burnie, Maryland on Saturday night because of their son who has neurological challenges. https://t.co/1OoXQnTqo1
— FOX Baltimore (@FOXBaltimore) August 7, 2019
In a statement, Outback Steakhouse again apologized for the incident and promised to look into ways to make sure that such incidents don’t happen again.
“We strive to make sure all guests feel comfortable and welcomed in our restaurants and we fell short. We’re learning from what happened and training our team so we can better serve our diverse guest population,” reads a statement.
In an update, Braun says that Outback has apologized repeatedly, including offering more gift cards and even offering to make a donation to an organization that works with Killian. She says she hasn’t yet decided what to do.
“The anger has subsided, and I’m left with sadness for my son and his future struggles of being in public,” she says.
From time to time, the news media will feature a story about a restaurant here or there banning children for the sake of giving their guests a quiet experience. Usually such stories are met with a mix of outrage and support. For example, as Fox News reported in 2018, when Old Fisherman’s Grotto in Monterey posted its “no loud children” policy on social media, the reaction ranged from frothing outrage to at least one customer saying they ate there simply because of the policy.