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Mom and two-year old toddler was asked to leave Panera because of child's shoes

A mom and her two year-old toddler were recently kicked out of a Panera Bread restaurant  after complaints that the shoes the baby was wearing were too noisy.
A mom and her two year-old toddler were recently kicked out of a Panera Bread restaurant after complaints that the shoes the baby was wearing were too noisy.
Creative Commons/JD Hancock

Panera Bread is known as a family-friendly restaurant, but a mom who recently visited a Panera with her toddler didn’t feel welcomed at all and ended up leaving in tears.

According to ABC News, two year-old Emma Duke frequently visited the Panera Bread in Savannah, GA with her mom, Catherine Duke, but this visit was like no other.

Emma suffers from an undiagnosed illness that has contributed to developmental delays, including the inability to walk.

Emma’s father, Stephen Duke, says her orthopedist recommended special shoes to give her better ankle support, and the shoes squeak when she walks heel to toe to let her know she’s walking properly.

Apparently, a customer could not tolerate the squeaking and complained, and this prompted a Panera employee to give Mrs. Duke two options: take Emma’s shoes off or leave the restaurant. They left.

The family was shocked and told Good Morning America that the restaurant was well aware of Emma’s condition and specialty shoes because they frequent the Panera quite often.

The Duke family met with members from the corporate office and was issued an immense apology.

The representatives also pledged to hold a fundraiser for the Dukes in the coming weeks where 50 percent of the restaurant's proceeds that night will be given to the family to help with Emma's numerous medical bills.

Although seemingly a nice gesture, Emma’s father Stephen says he probably won't return to the restaurant.