An Arkansas mom says workers at a local IHOP refused to allow her son — who was born without arms — to have breakfast at the restaurant because he eats with his feet.
Alexis Bancroft, 25, told local outlet KARK that her 3-year-old boy, William, learned in therapy to eat by sitting on a table and using his feet.
But when Bancroft and her husband took their kids to an IHOP in Hot Springs for a pancake breakfast Saturday, the location’s general manager was not happy with the eating technique.
She told the family that William couldn’t touch the syrup container because of a health department regulation, Bancroft recalled.
“When we got there, I carried him in, took him to the bathroom and washed his feet so he could eat,” Bancroft said. “I asked her, ‘Do you ask all of your customers if they washed their hands before they touch [the syrup containers]?”
The family was offended and left immediately, she said.
The manager “was the one who discriminated against my son for having a physical disability,” Bancroft said. “All he wanted was some pancakes.”
Bancroft detailed the experience in a since-deleted Facebook post and says the manager reached out to apologize, telling her she wasn’t intentionally trying to hurt the family.
But the incident had a lasting impact on William, who, days later, wanted to sit on a chair, instead of a table, to eat, “which he can’t really do,” the mom said.
“Other people may think it’s not a big deal, but that is my child,” Bancroft said. “I’m his advocate, and you’re not going to treat my kid like that.”
Sources told the outlet that the manager had since been placed on leave.
IHOP did not immediately respond to a request from The Post but told the outlet that it had reached out to Bancroft to apologize and would be retraining employees.
“IHOP and our franchisees do not tolerate actions that are or allude to discrimination of any type,” they said.
Bancroft did not immediately respond to messages from The Post.
Credit: NY Post