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An Arby's restaurant in Minnesota removed a sign proclaiming only "well behaved" children are welcome, following an outcry from parents who called the move "appalling."
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A mother of three walked into Elk River Arby's for dinner with her family last week when she came face to face with the notice.
"Only well behaved Children who can keep their food on their trays and their bottoms on their seats are welcome," the notice read. "If you can't do this you will be asked to leave. Thanks."
Christine Hemsworth recounted her experience to KARE-TV, saying she had been to the location several times but never encountered a sign like this.
"I was shocked to find a sign like that," Hemsworth told the outlet. "It is a fast-food restaurant, it's not something with white tablecloths. It's supposed to be family-oriented as far as I knew."
Hemsworth said she wasn't asked to leave but said it was "an uncomfortable and stressful meal."
"I have a toddler. I wasn't sure if it was because they didn't want to clean up messes. I always clean up my children's mess anyways but it was an uncomfortable and stressful meal," she said.
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Hemsworth's experience drew angry rebukes from parents on social media who were worried about their own families feeling welcome.
One parent tweeted at the company, saying, "I am appalled by this. My son is autistic and would be kicked out for his behaviors."
Arby's, whose parent company is Inspire Brands, responded to the customers' concerns, saying in part, "We've spoken to the restaurant team and have removed this sign as this does not reflect our company values and the family-friendly environment we aim to provide in our restaurants."
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"We recognize the language on this sign was insensitive. We removed it quickly, and have disciplined the manager and team working at the restaurant. It does not reflect our company values and the family-friendly environment we aim to provide in all of our restaurants," the company told KARE-TV in a statement.
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