A mother claimed that her three-year-old son, who was born without arms, was discriminated against at an IHOP in Hot Springs, AR.
Alexis Bancroft and her family, including her son William, visited IHOP for the first time earlier this week. Bancroft reportedly carried her son to the bathroom and washed his feet, so he could sit on the table and use his feet to eat like he does at home and at other restaurants without any complaints.
According to a report from local NBC station KARK, the IHOP manager would not let William sit on the table or grab the syrup pitcher with his feet, saying it was a health department issue. The family reportedly left after that without paying for their drinks.
“He’s three-years old,” Bancroft told KARK. “That’s all he knows. That’s what he was taught from therapy.”
Bancroft wrote about the experience on Facebook, and several servers and the manager reached out.
“I really think this was all a misunderstanding,” the manager, who was not named, reportedly wrote. “I would never do that to your son intentionally or otherwise. That’s not what I was trying to do.”
The manager is reportedly on leave, according to KARK, and the staff will be retrained.
“IHOP and our franchisees do not tolerate actions that are or allude to discrimination of any type,” IHOP president Darren Rebelez said in a statement to Fortune. “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.”