HOT SPRINGS – A Hot Springs mom says that a local restaurant discriminated against her son for eating with his feet – despite the fact that he does not have arms. Alexis Bancroft told KARK Television that she took her three-year-old son William, who was born without arms, to the IHOP location where he proceeded to eat with his feet while sitting on the table – as he was taught to do in physical therapy.
The family was then told by a manager that he could neither eat on the table nor touch the containers of syrup with his feet, citing a health code violation.
Bancroft told reporter Jessi Turnure that she had washed William’s feet before bringing him to the table, and then asked the manager whether they screened regular customers for handwashing prior to touching the same syrup containers.
According to the television station, the manager is reportedly on leave from the restaurant, while IHOP says they are working with the local franchisee to make the situation right.
“IHOP and our franchisees do not tolerate actions that are or allude to discrimination of any type. The franchisee at this location has been in touch with the guest to express his sincerest apologies and will continue to be in communication with her to resolve the issue.” said IHOP President Darren Rebelezz. “Additionally, the franchise will also retrain his team members to ensure IHOP’s level of service, particularly regarding guests with disabilities, is provided to all. For 60 years, IHOP and our franchisees have strived to create a warm and hospitable dining experience for all guests, and this incident is not reflective of that ongoing commitment.”
For more on the story, check out the article from KARK Television.