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Restaurants Won't Allow Any Outside Food
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I am not too sure if this is the right forum topic to post this under but I am at a loss as to what to do regarding a food/bowling establishment not allowing any outside food in their facility but can't accommodate my son's gluten free diet. He is having a "7th Birthday Pirate Bowling Party" and when I was told I could not bring in his birthday cupcakes for his party I was kind of surprised. The establishment can provide you with a cake however it is not gluten free. I told the woman that my son has Celiac Disease and is unable to consume a gluten cake could I bring him a cake or cupcakes, the answer I was given was, no. I pushed and said "I thought there was an Idaho Law against discriminating against individuals with disabilities or diseases." She responded, "Oh I am not discriminating but our insurance won't allow any outside food because there are too many sue happy people".

In the end... I convinced the woman to check with her cake maker to see if they could make a gluten-free cake but they would have to guarantee it as gluten-free. She is calling me back tomorrow to let me know what they can or can't do. She offered to let me sneak in one cup cake and she would provide a gluten cake for the kids in attendance. But when I ran that idea by my son he was very sad. Frankly I think that is totally unfair for my son considering it's his birthday. If it were someone else's party I would be ok with it.

I am wondering if there is a law protecting those with restrictive diets and if so how can I convince this woman to allow my son his b-day cupcakes. Am I fighting a losing battle?

Thanks in advance.

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Hi from a fellow Idahoan & Welcome to the site!

Was it a manager or an owner that you talked to?

(and, if you can, would you mind telling me the name of the place, so I know not to go there. I live in Boise).

Sorry i can't offer any help/ advice... I'm still new to all of this myself!

A lot of people around here are pretty knowledgeable, and I'm sure someone will be able to help more that I can.

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I am wondering if there is a law protecting those with restrictive diets and if so how can I convince this woman to allow my son his b-day cupcakes. Am I fighting a losing battle?

Thanks in advance.

They aren't required to provide you with any special food, since you can choose to go elsewhere.

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Private establishments are without question allowed to forbid people bringing in their own food and drinks, whether for financial reasons or health/slash legal ones. The bowling alley I frequent DOES allow people to bring in food the way you want, but I'm sure they're not required to do so. I'm sorry these folks aren't being more reasonable, but I don't think you have a legal leg to stand on.

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Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, 'public accommodations' (which would include a bowling alley) do have certain obligations to make reasonable accommodations. You can scroll down to Section III here:

http://www.ada.gov/cguide.htm#anchor62335

I don't know much beyond that, or whether allowing you to bring food for your son would be considered a reasonable accommodation under the law. Seems pretty reasonable to me, and I'm sure most people here. But like the others have said, in this case it's probably a good idea to go elsewhere if you can. I'm sorry you have to deal with this, and hope it works out well.

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good luck to u!

i think it's ridiculous- especially since u said u were only bringing in the gluten free cake (or cupcakes?). yes- i know its totally commonplace for a restaurant to not allow u to bring in your own food- but ive always experienced them being ok with bringing in your own cake- and this is YEARS before i followed a special diet. i cant even count how many times ive gone to a birthday party- or for a baby shower or whatever- and we've gone in before and snuck in the cake- sometimes the kitchen even putting it in the back so it could be a surprise. seriously

since ive gone gluten free- ive brought in Udi's bread to the Melting Pot, and i brought my own rice/bean/corn chips into Abuelo's (sp?).

i hope it works out for u-

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I don't know the Idaho law. Here in WA it is a health code violation to bring in food. However I do see people bringing in baby food, bottles and sometimes sippy cups.

In the case of the bowling alley, I would probably just order a cake from them for the other kids, bring your own cupcake and not even ask about it. Chances are they wouldn't have noticed. But if you ask, they probably will tell you "no".

The other option would be to have some treats waiting outside, like in your vehicle. You could have suitable pre-packaged treats that you could hand out as people leave.

My daughter has never had a cake at all for her kid birthday parties, ever since we learned of the food allergies. One year I made gluten free brownies for her and handed out pre-packaged Little Debbie brownies to the other kids. Another year we had Popsicles and Ener-G cookies. Last year we had a candy cake. This is candy that is glued onto boxes to form the shape of a cake. I did order hers because that is what she wanted. She realized that there might be Kit Kats or other things she could not eat on it. I got a small one. I let the other kids attack that "cake". Meanwhile I had two big bowls of safe candy so she could have something to eat.

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Money talks. Cancel the booking and have the party elsewhere. If they are unable to meet your needs they don't deserve your business.

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Money talks. Cancel the booking and have the party elsewhere. If they are unable to meet your needs they don't deserve your business.

ITA.

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I agree. I would cancel the booking, find another venue. And in that instance. Don't ask, just bring. If they say anything tell them why. What can they do, throw you in a time out? :P

It's better to beg for forgiveness then ask for permission.

I think that applies here.

Good luck and try not to worry about it. B)

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Allowing outside food as a disability accommodation is reasonable and required under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

 

Of course the restaurant can attempt to use an alternate accommodation like getting a gluten free cake on their own.

 

ADA would over ride any local health code laws in this case...ultimately in court such as law would be ruled illegal..although they can have specific regulations  such as it cannot be prepared in the kitchen of the facilities.

 

The facility should attempt to resolve this issue with their insurer,,eventually will a major lawsuit, the law would require insurance to automatically allow outside food as a disability accommodation..it may take a class action suit by various people including those with celiac, various food allergies, autism, etc.

 

you can try contacting your area ADA TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTER..

 

although ADA does require this accommodation, until it is actually proven in court, it will be debated and denied

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Allowing outside food as a disability accommodation is reasonable and required under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

 

Of course the restaurant can attempt to use an alternate accommodation like getting a gluten free cake on their own.

 

ADA would over ride any local health code laws in this case...ultimately in court such as law would be ruled illegal..although they can have specific regulations  such as it cannot be prepared in the kitchen of the facilities.

 

The facility should attempt to resolve this issue with their insurer,,eventually will a major lawsuit, the law would require insurance to automatically allow outside food as a disability accommodation..it may take a class action suit by various people including those with celiac, various food allergies, autism, etc.

 

you can try contacting your area ADA TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTER..

 

although ADA does require this accommodation, until it is actually proven in court, it will be debated and denied

 

 

Just an FYI - This thread and the posts on it are from 2011 (3 years old).

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HERE IS PROOF OUTSIDE FOOD MUST BE ALLOWED IF THE FACILITY CAN'T/WON'T PROVIDE DISABILITY FRIENDLY FOOD..

 

 The ADA will allow you to bring your own gluten-free food to places where safe food won't be available. Professional mediators helped to decide a case in New Hampshire involving a tour train operator that refused to allow a passenger with food allergies to bring her own food. Ultimately, the tour train operator revised its policies to make them more accommodating to people with allergies.

http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/sociallifestyleresources/f/Does-The-Americans-With-Disabilities-Act-Cover-People-With-Celiac-Disease.htm

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HERE IS PROOF OUTSIDE FOOD MUST BE ALLOWED IF THE FACILITY CAN'T/WON'T PROVIDE DISABILITY FRIENDLY FOOD..

 

 The ADA will allow you to bring your own gluten-free food to places where safe food won't be available. Professional mediators helped to decide a case in New Hampshire involving a tour train operator that refused to allow a passenger with food allergies to bring her own food. Ultimately, the tour train operator revised its policies to make them more accommodating to people with allergies.

http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/sociallifestyleresources/f/Does-The-Americans-With-Disabilities-Act-Cover-People-With-Celiac-Disease.htm

 

 

I would bet that cake wouldn't be a medically necessary food.  I would also think that a train is a different circumstance than a restaurant.  You are stuck on the train with no option to leave or go elsewhere for food.  Obviously, this person 3 years ago did not NEED cake nor was limited to one location for food.

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