Applebee’s issued an apology after gaining national attention for kicking a family out of one of its locations because the children were unruly.
A spokesperson for Applebee’s admits the location’s management mishandled the situation.
It began on Sunday night when Eli Gau and Lillian Maliti took their two young sons to an Applebee’s in Katy, just west of Houston.
Gau claims his oldest boy, three-year-old Ryan, began wandering from the table halfway through dinner. When Gau went to bring Ryan back to the table, he realized the family had attracted unwelcome attention.
“As I was grabbing him and coming back the manager was walking to me,” according to Gau. “Straight forward to me.”
Gau claims the manager told him the children were making too much noise. Then he called authorities and told the family to leave. When they walked outside, a Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy confronted them and handed them a warning for criminal trespassing.
Applebee’s corporate offices have since issued a profuse apology for the matter. Still, Gau and Maliti have vowed to take their business elsewhere from now on. “I feel heartbroken,” said Gau. “I feel very sad.”
The spokesperson released a statement that reads:
“It is exceedingly rare that a situation requires the assistance of law enforcement, and our franchisee is using this instance as a teaching moment to better manage future disruptions in their restaurants.”