Outback Steakhouse asked family to leave over ‘noises’ from boy with special needs, mom says
GLEN BURNIE, Md. — A Maryland woman said she was shocked after an Outback Steakhouse manager told her family to leave after getting a complaint about her 4-year-old son, who has special needs.
Amanda Braun said her son Killian was born with childhood apraxia of speech, which makes it hard for him to communicate.
“He is a very energetic kid with much to say, however when he speaks his words are unclear,” Braun said in a Facebook post. “A man approached our table about 5 minutes after our food was brought out and introduced himself as the manager.”
Braun said the manager asked how their meals were and informed them that another diner had complained about the noises Killian was making.
“He said that he was very uncomfortable coming to our table to tell us that, but unfortunately we needed to finish our meals and leave,” Braun wrote.
Braun told WJLA there was some noise, but it wasn’t constant.
“Our son stayed with us in our booth,” she told WJLA. “There weren’t many people around us as we were seated in the very back of the restaurant to accommodate our party size.”
The Maryland mother said the experience left her in “total shock.”
According to Today, Braun reached out to Outback Steakhouse corporate offices and said the regional vice president, Jackie Meyers, was “very sincere and apologetic.”
Braun said she didn’t want financial compensation, but liked Myers’ idea of a donation to charity, and proposed that Outback sponsor the 2019 DC Walk for Apraxia.
Outback said it will also be instituting new disability training in the next six weeks, according to Braun.
The parent company, Bloomin’ Brands, has issued the following statement after the incident:
“We’ve been in contact with the family and have personally apologized. We strive to make sure all guests feel comfortable and welcomed in our restaurants and we fell short. We’re learning from what happened and training our team so we can better serve our diverse guests.”
Braun told Today that she isn’t angry after the incident.
“We’re all humans and we all make mistakes,” she said, adding that she was happy Outback was able to turn a negative situation “into a positive.”