November 4, 2014

Students currently enrolled in chefs schools in Texas have no doubt begun to give thought to what route they would like their careers to take after commencement. For many of them, entering the hospitality business will mean paving their path into the professional world as an assistant chef, a waiter, a restaurant manager or any other number of food-centric positions. While all of these different occupations will allow these individuals the opportunity to climb the ladder of employment in the food industry, there are several cardinal mistakes they should be sure to avoid along the way. Perhaps the foremost of these is not to anger your customers by behaving in an obscene or disrespectful manner. Not sure what we mean? Well, lucky for you, a woman’s police report against an employee at a Texas restaurant offers a prime example of how not to behave during your first job (or any subsequent jobs, for that matter).

The accusation
According to the Daily Mail, a Texas woman may bring criminal charges against a waiter at a franchise of the chain restaurant Jason’s Deli after she caught him taking photos on his smartphone of her breastfeeding her child. Jamie Gustafson, a mother of two, visited the San Antonio restaurant on Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 with her sister. During the course of her meal, she paused to breastfeed her two-month-old son. Somewhere in the course of nourishing her child, she and her sister realized that a male employee was standing behind her and taking pictures of her in the act. The belief of Gustafson and her sister is that the individual was attempting to gain lewd photographs of her for personal use or distribution.

The response
The New York Daily News has reported that Gustafson’s sister was the first to react, as she apparently confronted the employee directly before going to speak with restaurant management. Following that, the restaurant is said to have terminated the employee, though it has been reported that this only came following the individual in question reacting to the confrontation through a profane series of status updates on his Facebook page. Speaking with KENS 5 Eyewitness News, Gustafson described her reaction to realizing the employees actions as immediate and emotional:

“I didn’t know what to say. I was speechless. I got hot, my face was hot. I got sweaty, I was so mad but I didn’t know how to confront him,” Gustafson said. “I mean, what am I going to say? ‘Give me your phone?’ I wanted to take his phone and smash it.”

Following the termination of the employee, the restaurant chain issued a public apology to both Gustafson and all breastfeeding mothers who visit any of its franchises. They also went on to reaffirm that they feel breastfeeding children in their establishment is a right of the women who choose to dine there.