Panera Does The Right Thing After Jerk Employee Asks Mom To Remove Toddler’s SQUEAKY SHOES

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451866299Whew this was a close one because I have zero interest in breaking up with my favorite soup emporium, Panera bread. When I have snot running down my chin and my head feels like it is filled with used tissues all I want is Panera, because I am too sick to cook. But this all could have changed if they hadn’t done right by this mom who was asked to remove her daughter’s SQUEAKY orthopedic shoes because they were “bothering” one of the diners.

The mom of the little girl, Catherine Duke , says her toddler daughter Emma wears orthopedic shoes to help her walk and that they were prescribed by a doctor. When she was dining with her little girl at one of the restaurants in Georgia she was approached by a staff member who told her that her daughter’s squeaky shoes were “bothering” another customer and asked that they be removed. According to

“It was very hurtful, and I left the store crying, not a very good thing for a mom to feel like her child is being discriminated against,” she said.


This story does have a happy ending though. Not only do I not have to give up my beloved broccoli soup, Panera is reaching out to family in question. According to the Daily Mail

After filing a complaint about the incident, the corporate headquarters of Panera Bread got in touch with Duke and formally apologized. She said the franchisee met with her personally and said ‘that she and her family are always welcome at Panera and her concerns have been addressed’.

They held a meeting with the employee who erred and the manager of the restaurant. The franchise also said they want to hold a fundraiser to help the Dukes pay Emma’s medical bills. They are going to donate 50 per cent of the restaurant’s proceeds on a specific night.

‘They’re very for children,’ Duke said. 

‘This is just one of those things that happened in one of their cafes that they’re not proud of it.’

Panera Bread said in a statement that ‘the last thing we would want to do is make anyone feel unwelcome’.

I always view Panera as being super family friendly. They have high chairs! They have a kid’s menu with super overpriced grilled cheese! It isn’t like this mom was hauling her kid into Alinea! But I also know a lot of people use Panera as a sort of second office to work on their stupid fan fiction novels based on characters from The Vampire Diaries and to surf porno. No one likes their private porno muffin eating time interrupted by noisy orthopedic shoes. I think most adults with a lick of sense can sort of assume that a toddler wearing VERY squeaky shoes (And they make that noise for a reason, because they help kids with realizing they are placing one foot in front of the other) can sort of assume that the child needs them for a reason. I guess I can sort of understand if Duke had hauled her baby into an afternoon matinee of The Wolf Of Wall Street and Emma was running up and down the aisles in her squeaky shoes, but at Panera? Come on.

I’m glad the company has apologized and is making things right by this mom and her daughter, because I want to continue eating my damn soup.

(Image: Getty images)