After Crystal Everitt was harassed for breastfeeding her son in an Asheville, North Carolina, Denny’s restaurant, she sought the help of FirstRight to approach the regional management about its policy on breastfeeding. Here is the statement of policy given to FirstRight by Rick Pate, Director of Operations for Success Management, which operates 32 Denny’s restaurants (including the Asheville, NC location), on February 16, 2009:
We at Denny’s work very hard to insure all guests have a pleasant dining experience. Breastfeeding is absolutely allowed in our restaurants; we do request that it be done with respect and discretion, as we are a family restaurant. We defer to our managers to carry out the company’s position.
In response, breastfeeding advocates argue that by asking for breastfeeding to “be done with respect” Denny’s implies that it thinks breastfeeding can be done disrespectfully. One would also hope that as a general rule Denny’s asks all customers to be respectful of each other and thus it is not necessary to single out breastfeeding mothers.
FirstRight continues to attempt to facilitate a policy change at the corporate level, while other activists continue to plan nurse-ins in light of the absence of an apology to Everitt.