You’ve probably read stories about dress code violations before. Often, they expose how ridiculous and subjective the standards are. For example, a teen girl went to her prom wearing a dress that fit the dress code, but because the chaperones (who were all student fathers) found her attractive, she was kicked out of the dance. Other people discriminated when they see a person wearing a Trump hat or Clinton paraphernalia. But in this story, a 4-year-old boy was simply wearing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle tank top. But the shirt got his entire family kicked out of an Atlanta restaurant for violating its dress code.
Four-year-old Lewis Roberts was in tears when his family was forced from the restaurant because his TMNT shirt violated the establishment’s dress code.
The restaurant, which is called the Tavern at Phipps Plaza, enforces a strict “Gentleman’s Dress Code” and expects even the children to be dressed appropriately.
When Lewis walked in wearing the sleeveless shirt, the hostess told the Roberts clan that this was not allowed. The family laughed at her and thought she was being ridiculous. But she was serious and called over her manager.
After the manager arrived to speak to the Roberts, he promptly kicked the family out of the restaurant because the dress code applies to “gentlemen of all ages.”
The family begged the hostess and the manager to let them stay. But eventually, they were forced out of the establishment. The family didn’t think anything was “Un-Gentlemanly” about their boy’s sleeveless cartoon shirt.
Lewis’s aunt watched on with her jaw agape during the entire confrontation.
“If we would have thought for a minute that he was inappropriately dressed, we would have gone to a different restaurant to save the embarrassment.”
The family caused a fuss and got WXIA-TV Atlanta involved. They approached the restaurant owners for a statement, but none came. Later the company’s spokesperson clarified, apologizing for the hostess and manager’s horrid behavior. Now the company claims to take full responsibility for kicking the Roberts family to the curb because of the pre-school boy’s shirt.
“[The] rule does not apply for children and ladies — for gentleman only,” stated company spokeswoman Amber Stewart. “It was an embarrassing misunderstanding on our part. [The manager who asked the family to leave is] a manager in training who had a gross misunderstanding of our policy.”
Stewart wanted the family to understand that the restaurant had been wrong. She claimed she would reach out directly to the Roberts family and apologize personally on behalf of the owner. The family has accepted the restaurant’s apology and plans to continue visiting the establishment in the future with no hard feelings.
When it comes to a mistake like this, do you think the restaurant should apologize profusely or stand behind their gentleman’s dress code? Is it really so bad to expect customers to wear a shirt with sleeves while dining at their restaurant?
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