I’m seeing the Sarah Sanders kicked out of restaurant story all over. Before making a decision on it I tried to get the facts.
- The Sanders party was polite before and after being asked to leave.
- The owner was polite and private when doing the asking.
- The owner was attempting to protect employees whom she understood may feel discriminated against.
- The Sanders party is in league with someone who would actively discriminate against said employees.
- The Sanders party did not pose discriminatory actions while at the restaurant.
- Had a single employee not made the stupid move to post this on Facebook then both sides may have left it at that instead of the social media shit storm that followed.
I understand the thought process on the side of the restaurant. It is hard to provide service when you feel attacked. But the attack was not happening at that time. There are so many instances of people being kicked out of a restaurant because they are different. The difference does not make a person dangerous. These are not the same situation, but they are similar. Which makes this a tough call. I do not agree with someone being refused service because of their political affiliation any more than because of the color of their skin or the gender they love. However, I do not approve of someone being forced to serve a person who has outwardly defended a person that is attacking their rights. Again, a tough call.
In the restaurant owners shoes I think I would have gone a third route. Serve the party myself. When there is a difficult customer, or a customer that makes an employee feel uncomfortable I take over so my employee can remove themselves from the situation. I have done it many times. A customer can make an employee feel uncomfortable even when they are not actively doing something wrong at that time. I do not make my employees suffer that situation if I can step in and help. But I also don’t kick the customer out.
As a manager I feel the great responsibility of protecting my company, my customer, and my team. And sometimes that means making tough calls. There are times that I put my team first, but I do so in a way that makes it invisible to the customer as much as possible. And ideally without one of my employees posting my decisions to Social Media for all the world to see and judge.