Morton’s Steakhouse Apologizes for Mistreating Cancer Patient

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The upscale steakhouse Morton’s is under fire for how their Nashville location treated a cancer patient.

As reported by WZTV Fox 17, a group of 16 patrons were celebrating a company Christmas party at the restaurant.

After dinner, one man in the group, Robert Chambers, put on a wool beanie and then was promptly asked to remove it. He complied, and later the group informed the assistant manager that the customer in their party was sensitive to cold because he was undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment. Rather than having some compassion and telling him to please put the beanie back on, witnesses say that Morton’s management told them he could wear the hat if he presented a doctor’s note, or if the group gave prior notice so they could be placed in a private dining area. Shortly after that Mr. Chambers, his wife, and their children got up to leave the restaurant.

To make matters worse, police arrived on the scene and the entire party was asked to leave, despite reports that they remained civil.

Jason M. wrote on Yelp, “…we were a table of 16 with a $2,000+ tab and being treated like criminals. I will never step foot in this establishment again, and I will tell everyone that listens to take their business elsewhere. I will also make sure their corporate management hears about how awfully we were treated.”

Amanda W., who was there with her husband for his company party, wrote a Yelp review that included, “On our way out, my protective spouse asked the manager if we looked like criminals. To which he responded, ‘the cops just patrol this area and decided to check in.’ Riiiight.”

Needless to say Morton’s cooked themselves up a controversy. After a firestorm on social media, Tim Whitlock, Morton’s Sr. V.P. Operations & COO issued a statement on Facebook reading in part, “There was a complete and total misunderstanding by our staff who had no idea that our guest had a medical condition. Our actions were uninformed and our intentions were not malicious. As a sign of our sincere apology and commitment to the community, we are donating on behalf of Mr. Chambers, $2,000.00 to the St. Jude’s Hospital. In addition, Morton’s The Steakhouse will also partner with Mr. Chambers to underwrite a cancer fundraiser.”

Robert Chambers then responded on Facebook: “Apology accepted time too be on. I have more important things to fight than Morton’s. Thanks to all of you for your words of support and angst over the situation. It’s about empathy and how people are treated regardless of the situation.”

Hats off, no pun intended to Mr. Chambers, and how he handled the situation. Like he said he has more important things to fight than Morton’s.

Still, when I first heard this story, frankly it made me lose my appetite. What has happened to people? I wish we could serve up compassion, unfortunately you can’t order that off of a menu. I know one thing is for sure, while I appreciate them donating basically the tab to the Children’s hospital, I will not be eating here.

And that’s today’s  helping of The Online Dish with Maggie.

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