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Guest cassidy

Restaurant Made Me Feel Very Uncomfortable

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Guest cassidy

I'm a sales rep and my manager spent the day with me yesterday. She always likes to go out to lunch and we sit there and fill out reports and things. I don't eat in restaurants. I have been glutened many times and it just isn't worth it to me so I pack a lunch everyday. She has convinced me that it is ok for me to bring my lunch into the restaurant. I really don't like doing this but we sit there for a few hours and now that I'm pregnant I would starve if I waited to eat. I have brought my own food in about 10 times now. I always explain things to the server and ask if it is ok if I eat my food. No one has ever minded and now I kind of look at it how moms bring food in for their babies and it isn't a big deal.

Yesterday we went to the only nice restaurant in the middle of no where. I am a drug rep so when I bring lunches to doctors in the area I usually get the food from there. We also do dinner programs where we rent out the restaurant and spend thousands of dollars. I asked the server if it was ok if I ate my food and she said it was fine. Then someone else came out and said they could make me gluten-free grilled chicken and veggies. I told her they had glutened me in the past and I really didn't feel comfortable eating anything there. She said they didn't feel comfortable having me bring in my food because if it was contaminated then they would be responsible for it. What kind of an excuse is that?

I was very upset. If I had been with anyone else I would have gotten up and left, but I was with my manager and trying to be professional. My team spends so much money there and I thought they were rude. They certainly didn't get in trouble when they gave me contaminated food and I got sick.

I try not to put myself in situations where I feel uncomfortable having celiac but with my job that is sometimes unavoidable. I got glutened at a meeting I was at on Tuesday. I checked with everyone and they assured me my special meal was gluten-free, but it wasn't. I will never bring food into a restaurant again so I don't know what I'm going to do when she spends the day with me again.

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Guest nini

Cassidy, I'm sorry you felt uncomfortable. I am reminded of what ALL my therapists have told me over the years whenever my Dr.s sent me there because they couldn't figure out what was wrong with me... anyway...

They said that No one can "make" you feel any way, you "allow" yourself to feel (in this situation) uncomfortable. First and foremost, you are pregnant and have to take care of yourself. Secondly, you have a job to do. You can either starve, risk cross contamination at the restaurants, or take care of yourself and discreetly continue to take your food into these restaurants. I would humbly suggest that you continue to take your food and if someone gives you a hard time, mention the Americans with Disabilities act and remind them over and over and over if they give you a hard time, that you have been made sick in their restaurant in the past and you cannot afford to take the chance again, being pregnant and all, and your bringing your own food in doesn't affect anyone else at all and in fact protects them from liability because they didn't serve it to you.

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That's terrible. I agree with Nini.

I'm a celiac vegetarian with multiple foods in question.

I have the most success if I do order something. I only eat fresh veggies & fruit, steamed or sauted in butter.

I read under the entrees for ideas of individual foods they have I can eat. So far so good.

There is always a bad apple out there. One of the nicest resturants in town, suggested I make a reservation for my guests but I should stay home. We spent our time and money at a more cooperative place. Definately their loss.

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Nini's right. I would have argued right there in front of my boss ... and I definately would have mentioned the American's with Disabilities Act. You have a RIGHT to bring in your own food. I would have said, "Do you know we spend thousands of dollars on food here each year for our clients? Would you like to accomodate my needs, or shall I take my business elsewhere?"

Do not let people push you around.

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If you "have" to eat there. Order a glass of milk and bring some Carnation instant breakfast along. Stir it up , and it's a gluten-free meal in it's self. All flavors of Carnation are gluten-free except the Chocolate Malt. PS... only use the dry powder. The pre-mixed cans are not gluten-free.

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You know, I was just thinking, next time just order a drink and discreetly eat your food. If you don't make an issue out of it and ask permission, they're less likely to say anything. They might not even notice. If they do notice, then just tell them you have extreme food intolerances and have to eat food you prepare yourself. There is no room for argument there. Mention the ADA if they continue to give you a hard time, but I bet nothing will be said. I've never asked permission before to eat my own food.

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I agree with what everyone has said so far. I never eat out because I'm extremely sensitive and have been glutened in the past. However, I still go out with my family and "eat out." I bring my own food, and I've never once asked if it's okay, and no one has ever said anything to me. I would just not say anything, and eat your food, and hopefully it will be okay.

I'm sorry you had such a bad experience.

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I also have brought food to restaurants and functions, and have never asked permission. I just order a drink, if they try to take a food order I say no, and then I bust out my food when other people get theirs and munch away. I might get a wierd look here and there, but other than that I don't have any problems. On the two occasions I was asked why by servers, I said "I'm gluten intolerant and have multiple food allergies and can't eat your food". They responded with wide-eyed "ok"'s and that was that.

That being said, there are restaurants I do go eat at (thier food).

Elonwy

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The other option is, take some time to teach them how to correctly prepare your food. If you explain that you would like to have a restaurant that you know is safe and you can bring your clients, do catering from, etc, they might be willing to go the extra couple inches in order to keep your business.

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Guest cassidy
The other option is, take some time to teach them how to correctly prepare your food. If you explain that you would like to have a restaurant that you know is safe and you can bring your clients, do catering from, etc, they might be willing to go the extra couple inches in order to keep your business.

The time they got me sick I called the day before in the middle of the day and talked to the chef and owner. They said they would make unmarinaded chicken and make me a salad. I'm sure they tried, but they didn't do a good job. If I wanted to eat out, maybe I would keep trying with them but I have no desire to eat their food. I don't want to eat in restaurants because it just doesn't appeal to me. I get too nervous because I have gotten sick many times from restaurants so I can't enjoy the meal. I was about to cry yesterday so I really didn't want to say anything else because I was afraid that I would cry - let's blame that on the pregnancy.

Nini - you are right, no one else can make me feel uncomfortable, I phrased that poorly. I, too, learned that in therapy.

I think it really comes down to just hating my job. I posted last week how they wouldn't let me transfer to an open position much closer to where I live. This restaurant is 100 miles from my house. Then I was glutened at the meeting on Tuesday and it just seems that the only time celiac is a problem is when it comes to my job. I don't ever gluten myself at home.

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I think it really comes down to just hating my job. I posted last week how they wouldn't let me transfer to an open position much closer to where I live. This restaurant is 100 miles from my house. Then I was glutened at the meeting on Tuesday and it just seems that the only time celiac is a problem is when it comes to my job. I don't ever gluten myself at home.

Oh, sorry. I didn't recognize it as an exsasperated rant to blow off enough steam to keep you from doing something you shouldn't do.

I do remember your job post. Have you figured out how you're going to approach it? Change jobs? Threaten lawsuit? Take two weeks off everytime you get sick?

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Order something gluten-free from the menu even if you aren't going to eat it. Have a talk with the manager during a slow period during the day - let him/her know that you are from the company which brings them a lot of business, etc. and that inasmuch as you'd like to order from menu when you go there for lunch/dinner but you are so sensitive and you must be more so now that you are expecting...so if they don't mind, you'll order a coffee/tea but are forced to make this meeting in restaurant with your manager with your own food from home. Lay the problem out on the table and appeal to their sense of compassion.

Sorry to sound contrary but I had to study the ADA for my job a while back. This is what I got from it. If there are attorneys who know more than I do please add or correct what I am stating.

The restaurant is offering to make gluten-free food and that's the "reasonable accomodation" of the Americans With Disabilities Act. But a restaurant does not have to accomodate special diets under this act, nor does it have to allow customers to bring in their own food for any reason. The ADA was instituted more for disabilties which affect limbs (think wheel chairs), it just grew to other disabilities over the years. Now a hospital would be bound by ADA as a patient you have no other place to eat when you are in one. Restaurants aren't looked upon to accomodate for anything more than an access ramp into the place and a handicapped bathroom facility and a table that can accomodate a person in a wheelchair.

As for liability risk for bringing in your own food, as an insurance person I can tell you that it's a gray area. I know that when I had my anniversary party the caterer knew we were bringing in gluten-free bread for my husband only and they wanted to know how much was I bringing in. Then the day of the party they came and looked to make sure it was just for him. So something is afoot with this "liability" issue. They may be suspicious of someone bringing in outside food and then claiming that the restaurant gave them food poisioning when it was an "intentional" food poisioning just to sue them.

It's just unfortunate that the restaurant can't do the gluten-free meal right.

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Guest cassidy
Oh, sorry. I didn't recognize it as an exsasperated rant to blow off enough steam to keep you from doing something you shouldn't do.

I do remember your job post. Have you figured out how you're going to approach it? Change jobs? Threaten lawsuit? Take two weeks off everytime you get sick?

I have a lot of vacation time and I am taking at least 1/2 day every week. Next year when my vacation resets I'll probably take 2 half days a week until maternity leave. I was always a high acheiver and now I have decided to do the bare minimum. Other people on my team do just what is necessary so I decided that I can do the same. I go on maternity leave in April and I'm going to take a nice long one and let's just say that will be the end of those problems.

I just had to get through that meeting and those two days with my manager with a good attitude so she wouldn't realize that I was upset about not being able to transfer. She won't be with me again until January or February so I probably only have two more days of trying to figure out how to eat when she goes to restaurants and that will be that.

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I'm glad you won't have to meet with this manager too much more, but it is always good to be ready to address future situations like this. We've all been there.

I get good results when I write letters. I'd write a letter to the owner or manager or corporation.

I would also tell YOUR manager that I don't feel comfortable going there and to choose somewhere else.

Another option: Have her order a meal for herself and pick it up from there and take it to your meeting elsewhere.

If she seems uncomfortable with these choices, that gives you the chance to say, "Yeah, I'm sure you're finding out what a pain it is to dine out with me, so maybe we can meet after lunch or another time."

You always have choices.

You can't control the situation but you can control your response

and you can try to prevent future occurrances of it.

Be assertive! You can do it!

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