***BLOGGER UPDATE: I have accepted Gia Lai’s apology and consider the matter to be closed. In my blog posts, the comments section, and on social media, I have said all I feel needs to be said on this matter. I understand there may be further opinions expressed in both support and disagreement, but I will no longer be replying to comments. ***
I just received this email from Gia Lai‘s operations manager. This is not the person I contacted, but rather someone who read the blog post. I’m reprinting the email in its entirety. I am not accepting their offer of a gift card, but am encouraged that they will be better training their staff as to how to handle these situations in the future.
This whole incident could have been avoided through better communication and knowledge on all parts. If I had known that the employees needed the booth, I would have moved. I was honestly trying to be as discreet as possible in my choice of where to breastfeed.
I’m hoping this closes the book on this. For my part, I am grateful for the apology and the staff training. I am also grateful for all the support from a lot of different corners of the Internet. We, as moms, do our best to take care of our babies. We’re not always perfect, nor are the situations and people we encounter. But at the end of the day, we’re all doing our best.
Please accept my sincerest apologies for the mistreatment of you and your son at our restaurant last night. We have no policy against breastfeeding mothers at the restaurant (nor should any public place of business!), so I was really surprised by your blog post this morning. What happened last night does not reflect the views of management of the restaurant and we are really disappointed by the behavior of our staff last night. It is our goal to accommodate all of our customers in any way that we can.
I don’t want to make excuses for our employees in anyway but perhaps explain our side of the situation. The booth were you sat we only use for employees to roll silverware and prepare table linens. The female shift leader who approached and asked if she could help you probably only came over to see if she could assist you, not knowing that you were breastfeeding. She turned away to give you privacy because it’s not what she expected when she walked over but in any manner should have said something kind to acknowledge your presence. I don’t think her intentions were to be rude but to give you and your child privacy that you and he deserve.
As for the second staff member, the dishwasher from the kitchen, came out to bring silverware to the table for the servers to roll. He did not go out to the table to approach you. He went out unknowingly only to do his job. He definitely should not have stood there.
We are all humans and sometimes our reactions are not what we intend them to be. Although this was an unfortunate situation for both parties, we will take this opportunity to better train all of our staff and make a pledge that it won’t happen to another mother at our restaurant. I’ve went ahead and refunded your money- you should see a credit in 5-7 days. I would also like to extend an offer to visit our restaurant again and if you are interested I will send you a gift card.
Again, my sincerest apologies.