Think being the mother of a seven-month-old baby is hard? Spare a thought for the men trying to read their newspapers in the company of said child.
Can’t do it? OK, let’s just marvel at their audacity then.
Male diners catching up on the day’s headlines in the Butterley Park Brewers Fayre restaurant in Ripley, Derbyshire complained about a group of mums who regularly meet there for lunch with their babies, reported Huffington Post.
Apparently they wanted to “read their paper in peace” so the mums were moved to the back of the restaurant (next to the toilets) after being told by a member of staff that some customers had complained about their tots.
Marie Barron, 35, penned an angry letter to Whitbread, the company that owns the restaurant, saying: “We are not loud, hooligan types and we were not there to get drunk. We are working mothers, on their maternity leave with seven-month-old babies.”
Barron and her friends had visited Butterley Park Brewers Fayre about six times previously.
“The week before we were asked to move, the manager asked us how long we were planning on staying at the restaurant and told us a man who was reading his newspaper was unhappy,” she said. “It was then the next week that the manager told one of our group — who is deaf — that we would have to move. She came back to tell us that we had to move, but she hadn’t be able to understand why.”
“We were told that there are men who come in and read the paper and don’t want to be disturbed by women and babies, and it was better if we were out of the way,” continued Barron, who also has a 5-year-old son. “We chose to meet there as our babies are not of an age where we can let them play amongst toddlers and, seeing as we don’t get dinner dates as frequently as we used to pre-children, it’s nice to eat a hot meal in good company. However, the treatment we received was unacceptable and left us feeling extremely embarrassed, as well as discriminated against. It ruined what is otherwise a perfectly lovely place to dine with friends and family.”
Additionally the mums believe the real reason for the complaint was that some members of their party had been breastfeeding in the restaurant in previous weeks.
A spokesperson for Brewers Fayre said: “Brewers Fayre is a family restaurant that always welcomes breastfeeding mothers, parents and carers with young children to enjoy all of our facilities, including the play areas. We were disappointed to learn this claim had been made as they visit regularly with their friends and young families and we always do our utmost to look after them. We do everything we can to give a first class service to all, so are keen to speak to the guests as a priority and reassure them they are always welcome.”
The company said an investigation has been carried out and they are confident the staff members in question have learned from the experience. The members of staff asked the women to accept their apologies, thanked them for bringing the issue to their attention and offered them each a voucher for £10, which can be used at any Brewers Fayre restaurant.
Good for Brewers Fayre for apologising and hopefully they’ll make sure staff members across their U.K. restaurants are made aware of this incident and know that it’s not acceptable.
But what about the men with the newspapers? Perhaps they might find it more comfortable to sit at the back of the restaurant. Or in their living rooms, with no babies.