When Sarah Saba took her elderly mother out for a meal at Denny’s restaurant in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, it was a rare treat for a woman who had suffered from life altering health problems. A number of surgeries on her esophagus made it difficult for this woman to swallow, and could sometimes result in her choking on her food.
On this particular day, as she tried to enjoy a meal with her daughter, she did, in fact, choke on her food. While it didn’t endanger her life, it did cause a scene in the chain restaurant. It was an embarrassing and humiliating moment for a woman who just wanted to dine out in dignity. Read on to hear the whole story.
But what happened next was even worse.
While the incident quite easily could have been politely ignored, and this woman made to feel comforted and welcomed, instead the manager decided to leave her a rude and disrespectful note.
Bob Quigley, a longtime Denny’s manager, wrote, “Add $15 for Life Alert button,” on the bottom of the elderly woman’s receipt after she choked on her meal at the chain, according to The Daily Mean.
Neither Sarah Saba or her mother could believe what an insensitive message they were reading. Saba shared a picture of the bill on her Facebook account, as well as her outrage over such poor treatment of a customer of this establishment.
In her post, Saba wrote: “As you all know my mom has had a few surgeries recently on her esophagus. She has trouble eating, swallowing and even keeping things down. She chokes when she eats and eating any meal is a process for her. To have a little normalcy in her day, she went to Denny’s in Brooklyn Park, to try to eat on Monday afternoon. This is what the Manager, yes the Manager wrote on her bill!”
The Daily Meal contacted Quigley for a statement about the outrageous incident and the photo posted on Saba’s Facebook account, but he refused to comment.
Saba demanded more. When she spoke with the owner of the Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, Denny’s franchise, he told her that Quigley would be reprimanded, receiving a “write-up” in his file and that he would undergo retraining. The owner added that he could not fire Quigley over the distasteful action because of the tenure of Quigley’s employment with the company. The only form of apology offered to Saba and her mother was in the form of a reimbursement for their previous meal, and one free future meal at the restaurant.
Saba told The Daily Meal that Quigley did eventually call her to apologize for the ill-conceived message on her mother’s bill.
Saba’s sister, Caroline Speikers, said she too spoke with the owner of the Brooklyn Park Denny’s. She received a call from him in which he asserted that the message on the bill was a joke. He continued to explain that Quigley’s comment about the Life Alert button was in reference to the 60-year-old waitress who was serving Saba and her mother. The own said that person could, “could get hurt by running around so much.”
“Either he’s mocking someone who is ill and disabled, or he’s totally comfortable discriminating against someone’s age,” Speikers said. “He has a sick and twisted sense of humor, and should not be allowed around customers.”
Watch the video below to get the full story!