We hear about these things all of the time. A breastfeeding mom tries to feed her baby at a store, on a plane, or in a restaurant and she is politely or not-so-politely chastised for her behavior by the company employee. Nursing moms everywhere get outraged and hold a nurse-in. The store, or airline, or restaurant in question promises to do better next time. And in the end, very little is done to protect the next breastfeeding mother from having the same thing happen to her down the road.
But when an incident like this recently went down at a Bob Evans restaurant, the company responded in a way that has nursing moms around the world cheering - and searching for their closest restaurant location.
Here's what happened:
In late May, mom Kristina Gray was getting ready to have lunch at her local Bob Evans restaurant with her husband and her children, including her baby. After the family had ordered, it was time for the baby to eat, so Gray did what any mom in a restaurant would do - she fed her child. Before long, an employee came by to ask her to cover up claiming that other restaurant patrons were complaining. Gray refused the cover (because her baby, like most babies hates it,) and even tried to explain the law and her rights as a breastfeeding mom to the employee. Still she had to endure what sounded like quite a bit of verbal back-and-forth before the employee went on her way.
Gray followed up on the encounter by posting a review Bob Evans' Facebook page:
"I feel completely disrespected for being accosted and I don't see how anyone could have nor why they would have complained, because there wasn't anyone near us that would've been able to even tell what we were doing...I have the right to feed my child whenever he needs to eat, and I shouldn't be SHAMED into making myself or my child uncomfortable. Bob Evans employees NEED to be educated on the law!"
Nine times out of ten, the ordeal would have ended right there. But this time, something different happened.
Bob Evans not only apologized to Gray, they apologized to breastfeeding moms everywhere with this Facebook post:
"At Bob Evans Restaurants, we like to say that we ‘treat strangers like friends, and friends like family.’ Recently, we treated one of our guests, a nursing mother, with less than the heartfelt hospitality our employees pledge to bring to each table, each day. We support the rights of nursing mothers, and would like to offer our sincere apologies to our guest for her recent experience. We are re-educating our teams on local statutes to ensure education and awareness of the rights of nursing moms. We are proud to host the Nurse-In being planned at our Dale Mabry location this Saturday, June 7, and will offer any nursing mother a complimentary meal. We will also donate 10 percent of the day’s receipts to an organization of the affected guest’s choosing. We look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate our support for these moms in their efforts to raise awareness."
- Brian Carney
Senior Vice President
Bob Evans Restaurants
Well done Bob Evans. Well done.
And with that, you have won the hearts - and wallets - of nursing moms everywhere.
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