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Breastfeeding incident at BoneFish Grill in Kingstowne (Attn: Jen Russo)

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  • Irene Sayegh
    I got this from a mom in my Alexandria playgroup. I forwarded her the information about FirstRight.org, so hopefully she will contact them. (Jen, I gave her
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 16, 2008
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      I got this from a mom in my Alexandria playgroup. I forwarded her the information about FirstRight.org, so hopefully she will contact them.  (Jen, I gave her your name, too). Here is her email:

       

      Hi,

      I wanted to let you guys know what happened to me at Bonefish last week. I went in with my family to eat dinner and the baby got hungry so I breast fed him. While I was doing this the manager of the restaurant came up to my husband and told him that people were complaining. He wouldnt tell us what to do, whether we should stop or not and he did not speak to me directly. I wrote the restaurant an email (see below) and they responded (see below). Now, it seems to me that they didnt really give a good answer. I tried writing back for a clarification as to whether it was ok or not ok to breastfeed there and they did not respond. Certainly the experience made us feel very uncomfortable. I just wanted to let you all know in case you are breastfeeding or have strong feelings on the issue.

      Have a great day,

      -Tamara

      ----- Forwarded Message ----
      From: Roy Phillips - JVP 0122 <royphillips@ bonefishgrill. com>

      Cc: "Bonefish 0706 - Alexandria , VA " <bg0706@BonefishGril l.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, September 9, 2008 2:32:13 PM
      Subject: RE: Comments from Bonefish Grill: Store Number - 0703

      Mrs. Pincus,

      My name is Roy Phillips and I am one of the owners of our Bonefish Grill in Alexandria (Kingstowne) Va. . First thank you very much for your comments and choosing Bonefish to have dinner last night. I spoke with Paul Diorio the manager that approached your table last night in regards to your comments.

      You mention two concerns
      1. When Paul arrived at your table he felt very uncomfortable addressing the comments to you as you were breast feeding and therefore addressed the comments with your husband. There was no intention to not include you in the conversation it was just a matter of not knowing the proper does and don'ts of having a conversation with a woman while she is breast feeding.

      2. As far as having an opinion on what to do. It was the first encounter in Paul's career he has ever had this situation occur on his watch. It is a family restaurant and when people complain about breast feeding which I agree is natural we have to address it. We do not have a company policy we just ask people if they do not mind covering up while they are breast feeding when others complain.

      I understand this is a very touchy subject and first and foremost the last thing we ever want to do is for you and your family to stop coming to Bonefish. We care very much about you and your experience and want nothing more than for Bonefish to be on the top of the list when you decide where to have dinner.

      Thank you again for your comments and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

      Roy

      ____________ _________ _________ __

      From: customerservice@ bonefishgrill. com [mailto:customerservice@ bonefishgrill. com]
      Sent: Mon 9/8/2008 9:59 PM
      To: Bonefish Grill Customer Service
      Cc: Roy Phillips - JVP 0122
      Subject: Comments from Bonefish Grill: Store Number - 0703

      From: Tamara on 09/08/2008 9:59 PM



      Comments:
      Hi,

      We ate dinner tonight at the bonefish grill in the Kingstowne Complex. I'm not sure I selected the right restaurant from the list. Anyway, my 5 month old baby got hungry and I was breastfeeding him. He will not eat with a cover over him though I have tried many times to do this. Anyway, someone complained to the manager and he came to our table to discuss the issue. He did not talk to me but instead knelt down in front of my husband to talk. He informed us of the complaint but did not express an opinion on what I should do. In the end I tried to cover the baby, he stopped eating, of course and I ended up feeding him formula. I would like to know the policy of your restaurant about breastfeeding. There are two issues that really bothered me as far as how the restaurant handled this, one, that nobody talked to me directly and I was excluded from the discussion of what I should do and two that the restaurant management didnt express any opinion about what I
      should do. I would have liked to know if they thought the complaints were justified.

      Please let me know your policy. I will decide whether I want to go back to your restaurant based on what I hear.


    • Pam Jaiswal
      What a crock! He is just covering his employee and not seeing anything about the customer--particularly the baby. I would really take this further! Good luck!
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 17, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        What a crock!
        He is just covering his employee and not seeing anything about the customer--particularly the baby.
        I would really take this further!
        Good luck!

        "Imagine that the world had invented a new "dream product" to feed and immunize everyone born on Earth. Imagine also that it was available everywhere, required no storage or delivery -- and helped mothers to plan their families and reduce the risk of cancer.
        Then imagine that the world refused to use it."----Margaret Porter

        --- On Tue, 9/16/08, Irene Sayegh <irenesayegh@...> wrote:
        From: Irene Sayegh <irenesayegh@...>
        Subject: [lactivism] Breastfeeding incident at BoneFish Grill in Kingstowne (Attn: Jen Russo)
        To: lactivism@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2008, 8:45 PM

        I got this from a mom in my Alexandria playgroup. I forwarded her the information about FirstRight.org, so hopefully she will contact them.  (Jen, I gave her your name, too). Here is her email:

         

        Hi,

        I wanted to let you guys know what happened to me at Bonefish last week. I went in with my family to eat dinner and the baby got hungry so I breast fed him. While I was doing this the manager of the restaurant came up to my husband and told him that people were complaining. He wouldnt tell us what to do, whether we should stop or not and he did not speak to me directly. I wrote the restaurant an email (see below) and they responded (see below). Now, it seems to me that they didnt really give a good answer. I tried writing back for a clarification as to whether it was ok or not ok to breastfeed there and they did not respond. Certainly the experience made us feel very uncomfortable. I just wanted to let you all know in case you are breastfeeding or have strong feelings on the issue.

        Have a great day,

        -Tamara

        ----- Forwarded Message ----
        From: Roy Phillips - JVP 0122 <royphillips@ bonefishgrill. com>

        Cc: "Bonefish 0706 - Alexandria , VA " <bg0706@BonefishGril l.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, September 9, 2008 2:32:13 PM
        Subject: RE: Comments from Bonefish Grill: Store Number - 0703

        Mrs. Pincus,

        My name is Roy Phillips and I am one of the owners of our Bonefish Grill in Alexandria (Kingstowne) Va. . First thank you very much for your comments and choosing Bonefish to have dinner last night. I spoke with Paul Diorio the manager that approached your table last night in regards to your comments.

        You mention two concerns
        1. When Paul arrived at your table he felt very uncomfortable addressing the comments to you as you were breast feeding and therefore addressed the comments with your husband. There was no intention to not include you in the conversation it was just a matter of not knowing the proper does and don'ts of having a conversation with a woman while she is breast feeding.

        2. As far as having an opinion on what to do. It was the first encounter in Paul's career he has ever had this situation occur on his watch. It is a family restaurant and when people complain about breast feeding which I agree is natural we have to address it. We do not have a company policy we just ask people if they do not mind covering up while they are breast feeding when others complain.

        I understand this is a very touchy subject and first and foremost the last thing we ever want to do is for you and your family to stop coming to Bonefish. We care very much about you and your experience and want nothing more than for Bonefish to be on the top of the list when you decide where to have dinner.

        Thank you again for your comments and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

        Roy

        ____________ _________ _________ __

        From: customerservice@ bonefishgrill. com [mailto:customerservice@ bonefishgrill. com]
        Sent: Mon 9/8/2008 9:59 PM
        To: Bonefish Grill Customer Service
        Cc: Roy Phillips - JVP 0122
        Subject: Comments from Bonefish Grill: Store Number - 0703

        From: Tamara on 09/08/2008 9:59 PM



        Comments:
        Hi,

        We ate dinner tonight at the bonefish grill in the Kingstowne Complex. I'm not sure I selected the right restaurant from the list. Anyway, my 5 month old baby got hungry and I was breastfeeding him. He will not eat with a cover over him though I have tried many times to do this. Anyway, someone complained to the manager and he came to our table to discuss the issue. He did not talk to me but instead knelt down in front of my husband to talk. He informed us of the complaint but did not express an opinion on what I should do. In the end I tried to cover the baby, he stopped eating, of course and I ended up feeding him formula. I would like to know the policy of your restaurant about breastfeeding. There are two issues that really bothered me as far as how the restaurant handled this, one, that nobody talked to me directly and I was excluded from the discussion of what I should do and two that the restaurant management didnt express any opinion about what I
        should do. I would have liked to know if they thought the complaints were justified.

        Please let me know your policy. I will decide whether I want to go back to your restaurant based on what I hear.



      • Lynnette Hafken, IBCLC
        Ok, I suggest that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. We want this manager to see breastfeeding in a positive light, and breastfeeding mothers
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 17, 2008
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          Ok, I suggest that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.  We want this manager to see breastfeeding in a positive light, and breastfeeding mothers as reasonable, nice people, not belligerent or threatening.  We want him to see the complainer as the unreasonable one, not the mom!  

          So I would thank him for his careful consideration, and suggest that he tell future complainers that breastfeeding is welcome in his restaurant, because after all it is just the baby eating in the natural way babies eat, just like bottle feeding is welcome.  People who are uncomfortable can be moved, just as they would be moved if they were uncomfortable for other reasons.  Covering up the baby eating is not the answer, because no one else is expected to eat under a blanket, so this would unfairly target breastfeeding mothers and babies, not to mention being a safety hazard due to overheating and breathing concerns.  Breastfeeding is no more than a baby eating, and as people see more of it, they will become less uncomfortable.  Many states even have laws clarifying that breastfeeding is a nutritive act, not an indecent exposure, regardless of how much of the breast is showing.    (If Virginia has a law, bring a copy.)

          Again thank the manager for being so reasonable and caring about people's feelings, and let him know that you and your friends with babies look forward to eating in his restaurant in the future, providing he clarifies with his employees that breastfeeding is welcome there and mothers will not be publicly embarrassed for feeding their babies.

          That is my advice, based on situations that I have been in that had positive outcomes.  We want to educate people, not get in a fight and get people's hackles raised.  Feel free to use any of what I have written verbatim if you think it would be helpful.  

          WarmLLLy,
          Lynnette Hafken



          On Sep 17, 2008, at 6:52 AM, Pam Jaiswal wrote:


          What a crock!
          He is just covering his employee and not seeing anything about the customer--particula rly the baby.
          I would really take this further!
          Good luck!

          "Imagine that the world had invented a new "dream product" to feed and immunize everyone born on Earth. Imagine also that it was available everywhere, required no storage or delivery -- and helped mothers to plan their families and reduce the risk of cancer.
          Then imagine that the world refused to use it."----Margaret Porter

          --- On Tue, 9/16/08, Irene Sayegh <irenesayegh@ cox.net> wrote:
          From: Irene Sayegh <irenesayegh@ cox.net>
          Subject: [lactivism] Breastfeeding incident at BoneFish Grill in Kingstowne (Attn: Jen Russo)
          To: lactivism@yahoogrou ps.com
          Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2008, 8:45 PM


          I got this from a mom in my Alexandria playgroup. I forwarded her the information about FirstRight.org, so hopefully she will contact them.  (Jen, I gave her your name, too). Here is her email:

           

          Hi,

          I wanted to let you guys know what happened to me at Bonefish last week. I went in with my family to eat dinner and the baby got hungry so I breast fed him. While I was doing this the manager of the restaurant came up to my husband and told him that people were complaining. He wouldnt tell us what to do, whether we should stop or not and he did not speak to me directly. I wrote the restaurant an email (see below) and they responded (see below). Now, it seems to me that they didnt really give a good answer. I tried writing back for a clarification as to whether it was ok or not ok to breastfeed there and they did not respond. Certainly the experience made us feel very uncomfortable. I just wanted to let you all know in case you are breastfeeding or have strong feelings on the issue. 

          Have a great day,

          -Tamara

          ----- Forwarded Message ----
          From: Roy Phillips - JVP 0122 <royphillips@ bonefishgrill. com>

          Cc: "Bonefish 0706 - Alexandria , VA " <bg0706@BonefishGril l.com>
          Sent: Tuesday, September 9, 2008 2:32:13 PM
          Subject: RE: Comments from Bonefish Grill: Store Number - 0703

          Mrs. Pincus,

          My name is Roy Phillips and I am one of the owners of our Bonefish Grill in Alexandria (Kingstowne) Va. . First thank you very much for your comments and choosing Bonefish to have dinner last night. I spoke with Paul Diorio the manager that approached your table last night in regards to your comments. 

          You mention two concerns 
          1. When Paul arrived at your table he felt very uncomfortable addressing the comments to you as you were breast feeding and therefore addressed the comments with your husband. There was no intention to not include you in the conversation it was just a matter of not knowing the proper does and don'ts of having a conversation with a woman while she is breast feeding.

          2. As far as having an opinion on what to do. It was the first encounter in Paul's career he has ever had this situation occur on his watch. It is a family restaurant and when people complain about breast feeding which I agree is natural we have to address it. We do not have a company policy we just ask people if they do not mind covering up while they are breast feeding when others complain.

          I understand this is a very touchy subject and first and foremost the last thing we ever want to do is for you and your family to stop coming to Bonefish. We care very much about you and your experience and want nothing more than for Bonefish to be on the top of the list when you decide where to have dinner.

          Thank you again for your comments and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

          Roy

          ____________ _________ _________ __

          From: customerservice@ bonefishgrill. com [mailto:customerservice@ bonefishgrill. com]
          Sent: Mon 9/8/2008 9:59 PM
          To: Bonefish Grill Customer Service
          Cc: Roy Phillips - JVP 0122
          Subject: Comments from Bonefish Grill: Store Number - 0703

          From: Tamara on 09/08/2008 9:59 PM



          Comments:
          Hi,

          We ate dinner tonight at the bonefish grill in the Kingstowne Complex. I'm not sure I selected the right restaurant from the list. Anyway, my 5 month old baby got hungry and I was breastfeeding him. He will not eat with a cover over him though I have tried many times to do this. Anyway, someone complained to the manager and he came to our table to discuss the issue. He did not talk to me but instead knelt down in front of my husband to talk. He informed us of the complaint but did not express an opinion on what I should do. In the end I tried to cover the baby, he stopped eating, of course and I ended up feeding him formula. I would like to know the policy of your restaurant about breastfeeding. There are two issues that really bothered me as far as how the restaurant handled this, one, that nobody talked to me directly and I was excluded from the discussion of what I should do and two that the restaurant management didnt express any opinion about what I
          should do. I would have liked to know if they thought the complaints were justified.

          Please let me know your policy. I will decide whether I want to go back to your restaurant based on what I hear.





          -----
          Lynnette Hafken, MA, Mother of 3, LLLL, IBCLC
          "This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness."  The Dalai Lama


        • Dominique
          I am writing to bonefish grill! Anyone else wish to send them a letter?! Dear Roy Phillips, I come to Kingston and know many people in Kingston. It is really
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 17, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            I am writing to bonefish grill! Anyone else wish to send them a letter?!

            Dear Roy Phillips,
            I come to Kingston and know many people in Kingston. It is really
            important to me that you allow me to feed my baby whenever she needs
            to be fed. If you don't have a policy on breastfeeding, then I would
            like to see your restaurant adopt one. Please let me know when you
            have made a decision on this matter. Thank you. Dominique McGrady,
            TeacherAt 05:45 PM 16/09/2008, you wrote:
            ><mailto:customerservice%40bonefishgrill.com>customerservice@...
          • jkrusso2002
            ... them. (Jen, ... Thanks for the heads up, Irene. It s been a busy few weeks at FirstRight; we ve gone from receiving about two or three discrimination
            Message 5 of 5 , Sep 17, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              --- In lactivism@yahoogroups.com, "Irene Sayegh" <irenesayegh@...>
              wrote:
              > I got this from a mom in my Alexandria playgroup. I forwarded her the
              > information about FirstRight.org, so hopefully she will contact
              them. (Jen,
              > I gave her your name, too).

              Thanks for the heads up, Irene. It's been a busy few weeks at
              FirstRight; we've gone from receiving about two or three discrimination
              reports a month when we first started, to now getting a new report
              every couple of days. If anyone has a few free minutes a week you'd
              like to spend on lactivism, we could really use a few more case
              managers to contact moms and businesses when incidents occur. Email me
              at jenr@... if you'd like to hear more about what the job
              entails. Thanks, all!
              Jen Russo
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