Woman in a Wheelchair Is Refused Service at a Restaurant, Staff Instantly Regrets It
The staff of a fancy restaurant that discriminates against people with disabilities mistreats a customer in a wheelchair and ends up destroying their reputation.
The staff of The Silver Spoon, one of the city's most expensive and exclusive restaurants, were anxiously waiting for a visit from the famous restaurant critic, the mysterious Mr. Brooke.
The owner had received a tip that Brooke intended to come around to the restaurant that day and dine disguised as a regular customer to get a true feel of the average experience.
From the manager down to the lowly kitchen helper, everyone was aware of the eminent critic's visit and primed to make sure he had a superb experience. The chef was determined to produce the most delicious dishes Brooke had ever tasted.
A rave review from Brooke would make The Silver Spoon the most successful restaurant in the city. On the other hand, a bad review from Brooke had sent many a successful restaurant into a spiral, after which it would end up closing.
Everything was perfect. The tables sparkled with polished silver and cut crystal, soft music played in the background. The Silver Spoon's first customers of the evening were already seated and enjoying their wine.
The manager noted with satisfaction that they were among the city's 'beautiful people.' She spotted a football player, two minor actors, a top model, a hot young novelist, and a handful of prosperous-looking unknowns in designer brands.
Yes, The Silver Spoon was ready to impress the socks off Mr. Brooke. At that moment, a woman in a wheelchair arrived at the door -- it was completely the wrong image! She'd spoil everything!
The manager hurried to the reception and murmured an instruction to the host. He nodded and turned to greet the woman in the wheelchair. "Good evening, Madam; how may I help?"
The woman, who was apparently in her mid-thirties, with fine, elegant features, smiled sweetly. "Good evening! I believe I have a reservation for 20:00? Mrs. White."
The manager watched with distaste as Mrs. White lifted herself into the chair.
The host looked down his nose at Mrs. White. Not only was she dressed in casual clothes, but the back of her wheelchair was also covered in a ratty blanket, and her thin twisted legs were exposed.
A very unpleasant sight, the host decided. The manager was right. The Silver Spoon's customers had to be protected from unpleasantness. "I'm sorry, Madam, but we are having a private event tonight."
Mrs. White frowned. "But I have a reservation. I called yesterday afternoon. Please check."
The host stared down at Mrs. White stonily: "We have a private event. There are no reservations."
"I see," replied Mrs. White. "In that case, I'd like to speak to the manager."
The manager, who had been listening out of sight, quickly stepped up and greeted Mrs. White politely. "I'm the manager. How may I help you."
"Good evening," Mrs. White replied. "Since your man here says I don't have a reservation, I'd like to look at your book, as is my right."
The manager smiled thinly and reached for the reservation book. "I'll check, but I must tell you, we are having a private event..."
"Nevertheless," Mrs. White said, "If you accepted my reservation, you have to serve me. I'm booked for 20:00, under the name of White."
Irritated, the manager quickly ran her finger down the evening's reservations, and there she was -- White, 20:00. The manager bit her lips and thought quickly. She played her last card. "Indeed, Madam, but there is one little problem."
Mrs. White frowned. "And what might that be?"
The manager smiled triumphantly and stared down at Mrs. White's sneaker-clad feet. "The dress code demands that ladies wear formal footwear. Preferably high heels."
Mrs. White stared up at the manager, and her lips thinned. "I see."
The manager made a dismissive gesture. "I'm sure you'll find somewhere to eat that takes in walk-ins. There's a lot of restaurants in this area."
Mrs. White wheeled herself away and fortunately crossed paths with an elegantly dressed woman in six-inch heels. "Excuse me!" Mrs. White said to the woman.
"I'll give you three times what you paid for those shoes right now!"The woman stared at Mrs. White in astonishment. "These are Jimmy Choo's! They cost me $800!"
"Well, then..." Mrs. White held out a thick wad of cash, "You'll be able to buy yourself three pairs!"
The woman smiled happily but said: "But what will I wear? I can't walk around bare-foot!"
"Take my sneakers," said Mrs. White, "They are brand new!"
Their trade concluded, Mrs. White, with a pair of sparkling Jimmy Choos on her feet, presented herself at The Silver Spoon and was reluctantly let in. Her waiter led her to her table with ill grace and flung the menu on the table.
The manager watched with distaste as Mrs. White lifted herself into the chair. Mrs. White quickly perused the menu. "The Chef's specials look delicious! I think I'll have the veal with chestnut puree."
"I'm sorry," said the waiter stonily. "There's no more veal."
"Oh," Mrs. White looked down at the menu again. "Alright then, bring me the Dover sole with the caviar mousse..."
"There isn't any."
Mrs. White bit her lips. "What about the duck with cranberry sauce and wild rice?""No." the waiter replied curtly.
"I see..." Mrs. White looked around and caught sight of another customer's dish. "I'll have what that gentleman is having. What is it?"
"Roast quail with goose liver and walnut stuffing in a port wine sauce."
Mrs. White smiled. "That sounds delightful, but I'm allergic to nuts. Could I have the dish without nuts?"
"Impossible," replied the waiter rudely. "You'll have to take out the nuts yourself with a fork."
Within minutes, Mrs. White's dinner was served. The manager was eager to have her gone before Brooke arrived. It was then that the restaurant's pianist started playing.
The couple sitting at the table next to Mrs. White called the waiter over. "Could you get him to play a tango? We'd like to dance!"
"Of course, Sir," the waiter smiled and bowed.
Within minutes the heated strains of a famous tango filled the air, and the couple lept up eager to show off their moves. They started dancing, and swaying in the limited space between the tables and ran into Mrs. White's wheelchair.
The man was furious. "What is this?" he cried, "Feed a cripple night? These people think they own the world!"
Mrs. White was visibly upset and called the manager over. "I'm sorry, but this gentleman..."
The man interrupted her rudely and said to the manager: "I expected better from your restaurant! We wanted to dance, and this cripple's chair was in the way! It's bad enough having to look at her. Spoiled my appetite."
To Mrs. White's astonishment, the manager replied: "I'm so sorry, Sir. Your waiter will bring you a complimentary bottle of champagne to make up for your mishap."
Mrs. White gasped: "You are apologizing to HIM?"
The manager turned to Mrs. White. "I'm afraid we will have to move you to a more suitable table, where you won't disturb the other customers."
"Disturb..." Mrs. White couldn't believe her ears.
The waiter wheeled her over to the darkest corner of the room and brought over her plate. Mrs. White ate her dinner with her back turned to the other customers, almost invisible.
After a while, she called the waiter over. "Please could you tell me where the restroom is?"
He looked at her scornfully. "You can't use the restroom. It's not for your kind."
"My KIND? What do you mean."
The waiter looked pointedly at Mrs. White's legs. "You know...Your kind."
To his shock and surprise, Mrs. White stood up. "My kind. Tell me, am I the right kind now?"
The watching manager rushed over. "What? What's going on?"
"What's going on?" asked Mrs. White, "I think you know exactly what's going on. But let me tell you a little secret... You are going to be looking for a new job very soon."
The manager smiled. "Oh, I don't think so, lady. We are expecting the city's most influential critic, and he's going to be giving us a rave review."
"Is he? You mean Brooke?"
"Yes," replied the manager triumphantly, "The famous Mr. Brooke!"
"I think you mean Mrs. Brooke White?"
The manager's face paled. "Mrs. Brooke White?"
"Yes, that, in case you haven't put it together, is me. And believe me, my review will be anything but glowing. You see, I've received letters complaining about your treatment of your disabled customers. I wanted to be sure, and now I am."
Brooke pulled out her cell phone and quickly snapped some photos of the staff and the guests and walked out, leaving the frazzled manager to deal with the wheelchair she'd abandoned.
The next day, Brooke's scorching review of The Silver Spoon was posted on her blog which boasted over six million readers, and before long the restaurant was forced to close down.
Brooke shared the snaps of the tangoing duo and the staff alongside the story of how she had been treated at the restaurant. The backlash on social media was ferocious and left the bigot's reputations in tatters.
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