hi there! this is dani.... the one who is organizing the nurse-in at the olive garden. to clarify.... a woman in kentucky was asked to use the restroom or leave her local olive garden to nurse her baby. she was not interested in pursuing the matter and at this point, we've been unable to track her down. however, i was upset enoughto email them immediately and after 2 weeks and an additional email, i received no response. i wrote letters to both the manager of my local olive garden in dallas and the corporate office. finally, i received an email response.... a form letter that others had received. here's a copy of what i got....
Thank you for your feedback.
We cannot substantiate the comments that you have shared with us nor do we take a position on breastfeeding.
We are interested in the comfort of all of our dining guests. Olive Garden strives to provide a combination of food, service, and ambiance that adds up to a special dining experience. We appreciate that you have selected Olive Garden in the past for this reason.
We trust that all of our guests would respect others in the dining room, use sound judgment and accepted community standards regarding their individual decorum. This regard for others extends to the use of cell phones, conversation volumes, feeding infants and restless children. If you have a specific concern while dining with us, one of our managers would be pleased to discuss the matter and make any reasonable accommodation.
Again, thank you for your interest in Olive Garden.
Olive Garden Guest Relations
now, after reading this email, i was even further disappointed.... comparing children and nursing infants to cell phones and noisy customers???? ugh.... for a family restaurant, that sure sounds anti-child!! so, i began organizing the nurse-in and have had a very good response. my intent is not to cause a scene. my intent is to encourage the olive garden, as a national restaurant chain, to create and implement a breastfeeding policy so that any nursing mom across the US will feel safe to nurse her child there. i have been speaking with the local newspaper who will be running a front page article on the nurse-in. it would be incredible if there were nurse-ins across the country. already, i have heard about nurse-ins in nebraska, ohio, pennsylvania and of course here in texas.
here's our plan.... we will meet at the olive garden on monday at 1pm. we will sit down and enjoy a meal. we will request to speak with the manager. i will have letters ready for him as well as plenty of questions, suggestions and concerns. we want to let the olive garden know that we ARE customers and that most of us have been treated well there, with no problems nursing our children there over the years. however, we want them to create a policy that affects EVERY olive garden across the country. if this problem can happen at one location, it can happen anywhere. i could just boycott them, but how would that be helping? and if we cause a big scene, we're only going to come off as fanatical, militant breastfeeders. i believe there is a time and place for getting loud and quite honestly, if this approach doesn't work, we'll see what we need to do next. no nursing mom should ever be harrassed and my hope is that this nurse-in will ensure that.... if nowhere else, at least at her local olive garden.
feel free to email me with questions or if you want to report a nurse-in. thanks so much for reading and for being interested in helping change how breastfeeding is perceived in our country!!