Going out for a family breakfast is a nice way to spend quality time together and pass on washing dishes — but even with the most well-behaved kiddos in tow, the outing is definitely more work than when it’s just a couple.
Many people have probably experienced situations where the kid at the table next to them at a restaurant has sent vocal or physical projectiles across the dining space, causing a rather inharmonious encounter and some dirty looks or unkind comments.
But for one family in New Zealand, their daughter was the target of an unkind label that they are still struggling to understand.
It happened when Kim Sze and her family went to Coffee Supreme in Christchurch.
They ordered their food and sat down, and she asked to see the receipt because she thought they’d been charged too much for their food.
After getting the receipt, Sze found an ugly little description listed near the top of it: “Fam w the terrifying kid.”
“Hey Coffee Supreme NZ you might want to train your staff at Coffee Supreme Welles Street a little better,” Sze posted on Facebook after the incident. “Writing ‘family with the terrifying kid’ on our ticket AND intentionally overcharging us… nice one.”
“We come almost every weekend and my daughter is nothing but polite and friendly and we’ve never left a mess. She’s never been a terror, never had a meltdown, never caused any problems and the same people working today always comment on how cute and sweet she is, so what the actual f?”
She then went on to say her family walked out before the food even got to them because they were upset over the treatment they’d received, especially because her daughter hadn’t been doing anything disturbing.
“We showed one of your staff the ticket and said we didn’t appreciate it and he didn’t say a word,” she added. “You lost some regulars today.”
After hearing of the incident, management was in a hurry to make things right.
They stressed that this behavior was unacceptable and atypical.
“We really love families coming into our spaces, we want everyone to feel comfortable, and we’re incredibly disappointed that something like this has happened,” Tim Norriss, the chain’s food and beverage manager, told the New Zealand news website Stuff.
Sze said she was glad they reached out so quickly, but she’s also concerned this sort of behavior could deeply hurt someone who’s already in a tough spot.
“Are they doing this to other people?” she told Stuff. “That could make someone who barely gets out of the house with their kids, because they have so much anxiety, just never want to leave the house again.”
“The bigger issue for me is that as a young family, I have a 2-year-old and a 10-month old, even though we go out a lot I still find it difficult to take my kids out,” she added. “I’m always thinking, ‘are people staring at us? Are my kids too loud? Are they being disruptive?'”
She admitted she could see that on the whole, the company had good, commendable values and that this was a fluke.
Norriss promised to create policies to make sure this didn’t happen again, and the employee responsible for the gaffe has been put on leave.
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