The article in question, published online on Dec 1, tells the story of a woman who got kicked out of a Muskogee Pizza Hut for bringing her celiac son’s McDonald’s food into the facility. The pair were on a field trip in town along with another parent and three additional children.
When lunchtime rolled around, the group of 6 chose Pizza Hut. However, because the two-year old son has celiac disease, the mom brought out some fries and a plain hamburger patty from McDonald’s for him to eat (UPDATE: as of December 2011, McDonald’s website includes wheat on the list of ingredients in their French Fries and states the only ingredient in the hamburger patties is beef. The Pizza Hut’s manager asked them to leave because of the food from outside; Pizza Hut’s corporate office could not be reached for comment.
Celiac disease and other food intolerances / allergies are generally considered to fall under the protection of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which protects our rights to “major life activities” like eating. However, I can see where a restaurant wouldn’t want to see people eating the competition’s food in their own space — onlookers wouldn’t know what was going on and might think it’s OK to bring in outside food whenever they want.
You’d think the Pizza Hut would have been able to find a compromise — bringing out a clean plate for the food and asking the family to dispose of any branded packaging, for example. Instead, they lost out on 5 paying customers immediately, and who knows how many others as word of the story spreads.
What do you think would have been correct in this situation? Have you ever tried to bring food from one restaurant to another, and were you successful?