William Bancroft, 3, has to eat using his feet which means he has them on the table
A mother claims an IHOP in Arkansas discriminated against her three-year-old son who was born without arms.
Alexis Bancroft says her son William feeds himself by using his feet but when the family went to eat at a restaurant in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the manager said her son could not sit on the table or touch the syrup containers because it was a health department issue.
‘When we got there, I carried him in, took him to the bathroom and washed his feet so he could eat. I asked her, !Do you ask all of your customers if they washed their hands before they touch them?”‘ she said to KARK.
‘He’s three years old,’ Bancroft said. ‘That’s all he knows. That’s what he was taught from therapy.’
Although the manager apologized, the damage had been done and the family got up and left without paying for their drinks.
A manager at an IHOP restaurant in Arkansas said it was a health issue for him to use his feet to eat and that he would not be allowed to sit on the table nor touch the bottles of syrup
Mom, Alexis Bancroft, says her son William was upset to be told he could not eat at the IHOP
‘She was the one who discriminated against my son for having a physical disability,’ she said.
William has been taught how to eat and do everything with his feet in therapy seeeions
After getting home, Barncroft wrote about the incident on Facebook in a post which went viral, but has now been taken down.
A number of servers from the restaurant ended up reaching out to her to say how ‘deeply ashamed’ they were about what happened. A number said that were ‘completely shocked’ at how the manager behaved.
Indeed, the manager herself got in touch saying: ‘I really think this was all a misunderstanding. I would never do that to your son intentionally or otherwise. That’s not what I was trying to do.’
The IHOP in Arkansas is to retrain its employees after a mother said the manager discriminated against her three-year-old son, who was born without arms
William is seen throwing his leg up in the air with the cookie in between two of his toes
Servers at the IHOP got in touch with Bancroft after reading her Facebook post that went viral
But Bancroft says although the manager’s actions may not have been intentional, the next day her little boy didn’t want to sit on the table to eat because of how he had been treated. ‘The very next day, he didn’t want to sit on the table to eat. He wanted to sit in a chair, which he can’t really do,’ Bancroft said.
‘Other people may think it’s not a big deal, but that is my child,’ Bancroft said. ‘I’m his advocate, and you’re not going to treat my kid like that.’
IHOP has apologized for the incident and is planning to re-train employees on how to treat guests with disabilities.
The manager of the IHOP ended up getting in touch to apologize to Mrs Bancroft
William was born without arms but that doesn’t stop him from feeding himself
‘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.
‘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.’
The manager has since been placed on leave.
‘Other people may think it’s not a big deal, but that is my child,’ Bancroft said. ‘I’m his advocate, and you’re not going to treat my kid like that’