Brianne McNally was asked by a restaurant manager to ‘cover up.’

Frogstone owner apologizes

Just in time to avoid a nurse-in protest at Maple Ridge restaurant.

It may have been a tough lesson for Todd Pratt, but he learned something in the storm of social media criticism over the treatment a breastfeeding mother received at his restaurant, the Frogstone Grill.

His apology came just in time to avoid a nurse-in protest at the restaurant, across from Telosky Stadium.

Maple Ridge mother of four Brianne McNally posted on her Facebook Page on June 5:

“For the first time in almost nine years and four kids, I was asked today by the manager of a restaurant to cover myself with a blanket when nursing my baby. For the reason that “this is a restaurant, and there is food around,” on a very hot day, in a restaurant without air conditioning … put a blanket over your baby’s head while you feed her. I’d like to see that woman eat her dinner with a blanket over her head. We will never, ever eat at the Frogstone Grill again.”

The post was followed by a large number of supportive comments, such as:

“Oh my! That is sickening, I am sorry you had that happen,” from Tisha Scoffins.

“Our backwards society embraces breast exposure for everything but breastfeeding, the very thing God created them for,” from Kelly Ablett.

“They violated your human rights,” wrote Adelaide Goldberg. “There have been lawsuits won against restaurants who ask this! “

Goldberg is right, but Pratt wasn’t aware of the law surrounding this issue.

He initially defended his staff’s approach.

In what he wrote was his first Facebook post, Pratt said women have been breastfeeding at the Frogstone Grill since it opened 16 years ago. He has three kids, and his grandchild has nursed in the restaurant many times.

“We want everyone who joins us to have a great meal in a comfortable atmosphere. What we don’t want is women that feel they need to bare it all while feeding their baby. They will be asked to cover themselves up,” he said.

“There is already one topless bar in town and council won’t approve another,” he added.

The comparison between a nursing mother and an exotic dancer at The Caddyshack featured prominently in the online grilling that Pratt subsequently received.

He heard from numerous “irate moms,” and was contacted by media outlets, including CTV and CBC.

A Facebook page was organizing a nurse-in protest at the Frogstone.

Pratt explained in an interview that his staff responded to a request from other customers that McNally be asked to cover her nursing baby.

“Our business is trying to please everybody, and that can be difficult,” he said.

But once he learned the law – that the B.C. Human Rights Code says a breastfeeding mother cannot be asked to cover up – Pratt apologized.

“We have 150,000 people talking about breastfeeding in an eight-hour time span. Pretty spectacular when you think about it,” he observed in an online comment.

“My topless bar comment was not appropriate and I apologize

“At no time have we ever stopped a mom from breastfeeding, but I was not aware that we were not allowed to ask her to cover her breasts up either,” he said. “I have learned from this incident and hopefully other businesses can learn as well. I apologize to Brianne McNally and her family for any discomfort this may have caused them. It certainly was not our intention.”

The protest was called off after some online debate.

I think in order for the Breastfeeding “movement” to be what it should be, positive, his apology needs to be accepted, people need to remove or fix their reviews, and he should be supported through patronage,” wrote Cara Herbert. “If he is still vilified, then you lose traction. It’s a win, so it should be celebrated and then everyone needs to move on. Positive change happened here. Someone was enlightened and that is kind of the point.”

 

Just Posted

Maple Ridge’s tent city evacuation shelter closing

Becomes a night refuge only, then shuts for good March 31

Former Maple Ridge resident in Sonic Boom Music Fest

Aaron Graham will be featured at the upcoming Sonic Boom Music Festival

UPDATE: Styrofoam melting machine the cause of Saturday’s fire in Pitt Meadows

Fire spread quickly to surrounding Styrofoam and lumber

Looking Back: Books and haircuts

What do they have in common?

Bees facing high mortality after long, hard winter

Some Pitt Meadows beekeepers seeing half of their hives die

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Accused Surrey transit cop shooter’s bail hearing set for April

Daon Gordon Glasgow, 35, is accused of shooting Transit Police Constable Josh Harms, 27

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Most Read