The owner of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Georgia that became the target of a protest this week after a breast-feeding mother complained about being asked to cover up while she dined there Monday has formally apologized.
Anger over the incident at the Mullins Crossing Chick-fil-A in Evans erupted after Samantha McIntosh posted her experience on Facebook stemming from her decision to breast-feed her 7-month-old daughter in the restaurant’s dining area. McIntosh insists she was appropriately covered for the feeding but complaints from some customers triggered a warning from the restaurants manager which subsequently led to her leaving in a huff.
“I’ve never made a huge deal about it but I feel as though I have a right to feed my baby however I want just as ANY OTHER MOTHER has that right (as long as it’s not harmful in any way *duh*)! So imagine my shock and surprise when I am sitting at Chick-fil-a yesterday with my 9 year old niece and my daughter (breast-feeding) and the manager walks up out of nowhere and tries to hand me her jacket saying someone has complained and would prefer if I cover up because of the other children in the restaurant,” McIntosh wrote.
“…please keep in mind that I am wearing a nursing tank top under a large long sleeve shirt. My shirt was pulled up and resting on my daughter’s cheek and my tank top was pulled down just enough for my daughter to latch so I happen to know that absolutely no skin was showing and we sat in a booth in the back of the restaurant,” she explained.
McIntosh said she stopped breast-feeding after the request was made by the manager but got angry when her young niece began asking questions such as why would a baby eating offend someone to the point where they would get a manager involved.
The breastfeeding mom’s story went viral after she posted it on Facebook Tuesday and about three dozen mothers joined her in a protest at the restaurant later that day, according to The Augusta Chronicle.
On Wednesday, the restaurant’s owner operator, Jason Adams, noted in a statement to the publication that the mother had been offered a formal apology.
“I am truly sorry for the experience Ms. McIntosh had in our restaurant,” Adams said. “I have reached out to her to personally apologize. My goal is to provide a warm and welcoming environment for all of our guests.”
Georgia law currently states “a mother may breast-feed her baby in any location, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, provided the mother acts in a discreet and modest way.” However, local advocates like Genevieve Cavanaugh told The Augusta Chronicle that mothers should not have to worry about being modest.
“If you’re supporting breast-feeding moms, stand up for that mother,” Cavanaugh said. “Cause if I was here and I saw that [incident], I would breastfeed my daughter right in front of that manager, and I’m loud and proud. I don’t cover up, ’cause she [her daughter] doesn’t like it.”