Applebee’s current marketing slogan is “See You Tomorrow.” Certainly not the case for one southern family, who were kicked out of an Applebee’s in Katy, Texas, because their children were being too “active,” says Houston's KHOU on Sept. 18.
Eli Gau and his wife brought their boys – 3-year-old Ryan and 1-year-old Ethan – to Applebee’s last Saturday night. The boys were reportedly wandering away from the table and disturbing guests, in addition to being loud and unruly.
In other words, they were acting like young boys, says Gau.
“They're kind of active,” Gau said. “They act like children. They're not adults.”
Nevertheless, guest complaints reached Applebee’s management, who went to the extreme: They kicked the family out and called the police.
“I went and grabbed [Ryan],” Gau said. “As I was grabbing him and coming back, the manager was walking up to me.”
The manager of the restaurant told Gau that his children were making excessive noise and bothering the other guests. He instructed the family to leave, and while they were gathering their things, the police were called. As the family was leaving, they were confronted by a Harris County Sheriff's Deputy, who incredulously warned the family they were "criminally trespassing."
The Gau’s were stunned.
“I feel disrespected,” said mom Lillian. “This has never happened in my life."
Applebee’s upper management called foul on the local manager, apologizing and saying the restaurant manager mishandled the situation.
A statement from Applebee’s read:
“Our franchise owner-operator has apologized to the Guest and invited the party back into their restaurant to demonstrate the standard of service each of our Guests deserve to receive during every visit. As a brand, our focus is and must always be providing the best possible experience for all of our Guests at all times. When a disruption in our restaurants affects any of our Guests, it is the manager's responsibility to step in to resolve the situation. 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.”
As to the invitation to return and enjoy a meal on the house, the Gau’s declined, saying they were “heartbroken” at how they were treated, and would no longer be dining at that particular Applebee’s.