Friday, June 26, 2009

The Demise of Boathouse Rotisserie & Raw Bar

The following email chain spread like wildfire today across Chattanooga. If Lawton Haygood, the General Partner of the Boathouse Rotisserie & Raw Bar, is this type of man, then I will not step foot near his establishment.


EMAIL 1

From: name removed
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 1:08 PM
To: mail@boathousechattanooga.com
Subject: Restaurant Experience

To whom it may concern.

I wanted to inform you an incredibly unsatisfactorily experience I had with your restaurant. On Saturday June 20, I attempted to take my father to the Boathouse for a Father's Day dinner along with my wife, my 3 year old and my 1 month old daughter. My Father was in from out of state and I wanted to bring him to a dinner he would enjoy as he loves seafood. In order to make the experience enjoyable for everyone, we stopped at McDonalds prior to arriving at the restaurant in order to get my daughter some food that she would be willing to eat. My daughter can be a particularly picky eater at times and we wanted to make sure that she would be happy and there would be something she would be willing to eat.

When I arrived at the restaurant, it was noticeably not crowded yet I had to wait for almost 10 minutes while the multiple hostesses tried to determine where I could be seated. Keep in mind that it was probably close to 100 degrees out and that I have a one month old child. I finally was brought to my seat after this wait and was in the process of being seated, when a female employee whom I might assume was the manager came over to me and informed me that would could not bring me daughters food into the restaurant as it was against the "Health Code" for such to be done. I attempted to explain the situation to her and was basically put on deaf ears and repeatedly told that it was a health code issue and that my only choice was to leave and go elsewhere. I was never offered any sort of other alternative. So therefore despite the fact that I went out of my way to go to your restaurant, I had to then load 2 kids back into the car in the 100 degree heat and drive to another restaurant.

After this experience, I contacted the State of Tennessee to see if this was in fact a violation and received the following email back:

-----Original Message-----
From: Lori LeMaster
To: name removed
Sent: Thu, Jun 25, 2009 11:38 am
Subject: Re: Question

name removed
It is not a violation of the food service establishment rules & regulations to bring food into a restaurant from another restaurant. However, some restaurants choose to implement their own policies restricting foods from other establishments.

Thank you,

>> 6/21/2009 7:17 PM
Can you tell me if you are allowed by the health code to bring food into another restaurant. For example, can I bring in McDonalds prepared food into another restaurant if it is still packaged or is it a health Violation?

Thank You
name removed <<

Lori LeMaster
Environmental Health Program Manager
Tn Department of Health
General Environmental Health
425 5th Avenue North, 3rd floor
Nashville, TN 37247


As you can, See what I was told by your Employee was completely incorrect that it was an issue with the "Health Code" and may have only been a policy of your restaurant. If this is the case, it should have been explained to me as such, and I would think that any reasonable person would be willing to work with a customer in this regard. I had thought that the Boathouse and it partner restaurants were family friendly type establishments and would understand how difficult it can be at times to have children, but apparently, I misunderstood and it is your desire not to have customers with children.

Based on this treatment, I have elected not to continue to eat at any of your establishments and will be sure to also relay my experience to others, especially those with children. I also wanted to make sure that you understood that you have employees that are using the health code to enforce rules of your establishment that are not part of the health code.

I would appreciate this if this could be shared with the Owners/Manager in Charge or your establishment so he is aware of this experience and hopefully no future customers are treated as poorly as I was.

Have a pleasant Day.

name removed


EMAIL 2 - HERE'S THE SHOCK

From: lawton Haygood [mailto:lawton@boathousechattanooga.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 1:34 PM
To: name removed
Subject: RE: Restaurant Experience

name removed

You really should check with your Pediatrician, concerning a 3 year old having that much control over her nutritional program.

Lawton Haygood
General Partner
Boathouse


EMAIL 3

From: name removed
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 1:41 PM
To: lawton Haygood
Subject: RE: Restaurant Experience

Wow, Thanks for the caring response. I am in awe that someone who is the General Partner of a restaurant would be that smart assed to a customer. My daughter is not in control of her nutritional program by any means, I was just trying to let her have a treat and have something that she wanted to eat that evening and in turn let us have a pleasant night out as a family. I apologize that my family is that much of a burden to you and your company. I thought it would be important to get some feedback from a customer's experience, but apparently, it is not something that you care too much about.

name removed


EMAIL 4 - AND THE NEXT SHOCKER

From: lawton Haygood [mailto:lawton@boathousechattanooga.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 1:52 PM
To: name removed
Subject: RE: Restaurant Experience

You go to McDonalds to get a happy meal, then to a restaurant, then back in a hot car and go to another restaurant, but the 3 year old is not in charge? You need to really think about that.


EMAIL 5

From: name removed
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 1:57 PM
To: 'lawton Haygood'
Subject: RE: Restaurant Experience

Thanks for the parenting advice. You are unbelievable and I will be sure to share this level of caring that you display with as much people as possible. I quickly drove through a drive through while my baby slept and got my daughter some food. It is pretty rude of you to insinuate that I was a bad parent for doing this, but based on the consistent response you and your co-workers care to display, I can see that it is more of a practice. I wish that I was as perfect a parent as you must have been. Perhaps if I only checked with you, prior to coming to the restaurant, I could have been better.

name removed
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