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Dittenheim

Discrimination - Glutein-free

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This is a private business that to the best of my knowledge can do this. I can tell you one thing for sure... to pursue this in the legal system will cost you a huge pile of money. Now if you are willing to pay for it on your own then thats your business but I don't think you have any chance of changing their policy. They can serve what they want to serve and how they want to serve it.

We all agree that this is a stupid policy. I agree that there are other ways to handle this and I bet none of them will give you much satisfaction. I know for a fact our local newpaper would not print an article or letter to the editor that mentions a particular business negatively.... they live by advertising and they would never take the chance on just your say so alone of printing such a story. I certainly belive you and so does everyone here but if newspapers started to do this every disgruntled customer of any business would expect a platform in the local news. That's not going to happen, the newspaper is a business and thats how they are run.

I think your best bet is to get in touch with the various celiac groups in RI and the local area and report your experience. I do happen to know a person who owns a tiny restaurant and I've been told by him that every single day numerous times a day they have requests to "change" things, no peanuts, no flour, no dairy, no cheese, vegan only, no animal products. He said he often feels like he is reinventing his menu for every single diner and it takes time to do that not to mention the fear that he says OK I'll do that for you and someone in the kitchen messes it up, makes it the "regular" way... he's worried about his liability. I'm not saying he's right and I know your situation is different (such a simple switch) but its not easy from any perspective. He claims and I believe him, that he would like to but can't cater to every single food allergy or menu change.

Which is why, when we find a restaurant that will work with us we need to do the exact same thing as the "uncooperative" places... advertise them... right here, with local groups, write a letter to the management, tip well.

I'm sorry this happened to you, I'd be furious as well with such a simple change.

Susan

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That's a good point that pixiegirl had about the newspapers. She's probably right. Maybe instead you could write not about that particular restaurant, but do an awareness type thing just to get celiac more out there and describe what has happened and how it's hard enough for us to eat out anyway.

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Guest gliX

I'm sorry to hear about your problem at the restaurant.

I didn't have time to read over other people's responses. I am currently an Intern in the halls of congress and know the process with lawsuits. Believe me, a law suit would take years and probably isn't worth it. If it was me, I just wouldn't return to the restaurant again.

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Guest imsohungry

I also agree with others who stated that they wouldn't pursue a lawsuit; there are just so many lawsuits these days that could be handled or resolved in different ways. Court seems like a lengthy, costly, and stressful procedure to go through simply because you couldn't have rice or potatos. <_<

Let me give you an example:

First of all, I have epilepsy. In college, I wanted to take a particular English class, and one of my accommodations was supposed to be FORMAT CHANGE: Alternate Test Days if needed. The professor I wanted to have had a policy of: NO FORMAT CHANGE for anyone. He offered to allow me to take an alternate class that did allow the format change; although this wasn't the time and exact class I wanted, I took it because it was a comparable substitution.

...in other words, he didn't give me "rice or potatos" but offered me a comparable choice that would fill my need. Your restaurant could make the same argument...just give 'em heck for their bad PR if you want.

Just my 2 cents. -Julie B)

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I have had 2 restaurants flat out refuse to serve me, and another yell at me about me suing them if I got sick. I just deal with it, and put a nice big post on the board warning other Celiacs. Then, I get on with my life. For every nasty restaurant, there are at least 50 that will bend over backwards for you. I spend 6 weeks a year traveling and eating 3 meals a day out. You learn to take the good with the bad and never to return to the bad and always overtip the good. ;)

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Terri-

True that! And I have to say, if by some chance, this restaurant was "forced" to offer substitutions and cater to those with allergies/celiac--I would be afraid there would be some bitterness there, and and something else might end up in my potato--know what I'm saying ??

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I am a lawyer, I don't think you have a complaint that can result in the relief you are seeking.

Having said that, some bad publicity for the restaurant can always effect change.

What is the name of the restaurant and the address? You have a few thousand people on this website that could drop them a letter/e-mail telling them how much  we disapprove of their actions.

JMO

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

YES... give US the info - I'll write! :-)

Gina

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Thank you to everyone for your input. I agree with virtually everything that's been written. I do think that the best way to change things is for people to make noise. That is why my first move was to write to the restaurant and detail what had happened and ask that they be more compassionate. It was only after receiving no response that I moved to step two.

I did not initiate, nor did I have any inclination to sue Cap'n Jack's over their treatment of me. I simply filed a letter of complaint with the Commission for Human Rights in Providence. I fully expected that if they did anything, it would be to contact the restaurant to inform them that a complaint had been made against them. It was the idea of the Commission to file suit against Cap'n Jack's. Perhaps they thought this would be a way to change the status quo to make things more accessible for those of us with dietary restrictions.

As long as the Commission sees fit to bring this suit, I certainly feel it is incumbent upon me to support their efforts - after all they are trying to make life a bit easier for us.

I, too, resent when the government tells us what we should and should not do. As adults we should all be willing to wear seatbelts, not litter, put on our headlights when it's raining, be civil to one another, etc., etc. Unfortunately too many so called adults have little common sense and/or common courtesy, which is why we have so many "DUH" laws. This seems to fall into that catagory. If you can make someone else's life a little easier by making a small concession, why not do it?? Cap'n Jack's has the attitude, "I don't HAVE to make your life any easier, so I not gonna, and you can't make me!" It seems like a very short-sighted way for a service oriented business to operate, but that's their choice.

Because of my current involvement, I don't think I should be encouraging you folks to write of your displeasure to Cap'n Jack's of Wakefield, RI, but I certainly wouldn't discourage it.

Thank you all!!

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