A manager at a Minnesota Denny’s has come under fire for allegedly leaving an insensitive remark on the bill of an elderly woman who choked on her meal. Bob Quigley, a seasoned employee and manager at the restaurant, is accused of writing, “Add $15 for Life Alert button,” on the customer’s receipt, as reported by The Daily Meal.
Sarah Saba, the woman’s daughter, took to Facebook to express her dismay over the incident. She shed light on her mother’s recent surgeries on her esophagus that made eating a challenging task. Her post read:
“…My mom chokes when she eats, and every meal is a process for her. Wanting a touch of normalcy, she visited Denny’s in Brooklyn Park. This is what the Manager wrote on her bill!”
The Restaurant’s Response
While Quigley opted not to comment, Saba mentioned that the restaurant’s owner informed her that Quigley would undergo retraining and receive an official “write-up”. However, due to his long tenure, he could not be terminated. As an apology, the restaurant offered to reimburse the meal and also provided a complimentary meal to the family.
Though Quigley extended an apology to Saba, the family remains unsatisfied. The restaurant’s owner allegedly defended Quigley, stating it was a joke referring to the elderly waitress serving the family. According to him, the comment was about the potential risk the waitress faced due to being overworked.
Both Saba and her sister, Caroline Speikers, found the owner’s justification hard to believe. They argued that irrespective of its intent, the comment was either mocking someone with a disability or was a blatant act of age discrimination.
“It’s either mockery towards a sick and disabled individual, or it’s sheer ageism,” Speikers remarked. She firmly believed Quigley’s sense of humor was inappropriate for customer-facing roles.
The incident has ignited discussions on the need for sensitivity and compassion in service industries.