Applebees Hates Babies, Try Hooters Instead

If you’re hungry next Saturday (September 8th) you might consider going to Hooters for lunch. But first drive by Applebees and honk your horn in support of the national nurse-out/nurse-in or better yet make a witty sign and go stand up for a baby’s right to eat. That’s right, you read it correctly, I am endorsing Hooters as a family-friendly restaurant. A few months back in Kentucky a woman left an Applebees crying (and without her meal) to nurse her baby in the car. Despite the fact that she chose a booth in the back of the restaurant so she could nurse her baby while waiting for her own meal, she was asked to cover up. With no blanket handy they told her she’d have to cover or leave.

Even though KY has a law that states a woman has the right to feed her child anywhere she’s allowed to be, the manager said the comfort of his customers was his priority. Wow, I didn’t know you can break a law on account of people finding it uncomfortable or offensive. When my kids are crying in the back seat next time, I’ll just race through that school zone so I can get home faster. My comfort is a top priority and apparently that’s how the restaurant manager sees it too. The law mentions nothing about a woman having to cover up. And let’s get real here, most babies hate being covered. I lose my appetite too in hot humid environments, like say under blankets. And if you’re a complete bigot about to comment on my blog (first thanks, I love comments of all kinds) and suggest she go to a bathroom to nurse, try eating your plate of hot wings sitting on the john. I won’t complain if you use the fold down changing table.

Breastmilk is amazing because the taste changes depending on what a woman eats. So often even a newborn can get a whiff of a deep fried appetizer and say “waaaah”, meaning “I’m hungry please feed me,” even though Precious has never tried the boneless burritos or beer battered cheese nibblets before.

The multi-franchise owner (Thomas and King) had their lawyer send a letter stating that the company is considering having blankets handy to give out to women, who don’t have them, to avoid this situation. That’s really pretty gross, who’s going to clean those blankets? And with what sort of detergent? What if little Tommy is allergic to Tide?

Why doesn’t she just pump a bottle you ask? Well, pumps are expensive, are they going to hand those out too? And sometimes women can’t pump. It can be a lot more painful than a soft baby mouth. Then we’re back to the comfort issue. What if little darling won’t take a bottle? It happens, especially if they smell mama around. OR what if mama can’t pump the same quantity that the nursling can extract?

Honestly, the only time I’d consider going to Applebees would be to protest. Before today it would have been to protest the taking of frozen crap food and deep frying it and charging people $10 a plate.

I did a little experiment of my own last night. I thought of a pretty conservative place, Lubbock, TX and called up the fancy new Hooters off of Loop 289 and Slide Road. Sure, it’s possible that people nurse their children in Lubbock, but I’ve never seen it firsthand and I lived in the area for 19 years.

“Thank you for calling Hooters Lubbock blah blah blah.”

Me: “Hi, I was just curious to know if you guys have a breastfeeding policy?”

Super nice girl on the other end: “Uhhhh I’ll have to check on that.” Hold music (“I’ve got hooters on my mind la la la la la”) Perfect!

A different woman, Lexi, is given my call and explains to me that she’s from the home office. She tells me that there’s no policy on breastfeeding. “You’ll probably cover up that little head right,” she asks.

Me: “Well she’s 5 months old and doesn’t like to be covered but it’s not like I’m going to take out my boob and show everyone around me before I feed her.”

Her (in a much more personable tone): “You know what, you do what your family feels is right, use your discretion, I’m sure it’ll be fine.”

So then I call up Applebees in Austin (where we live). I purposefully pick the closest location to Central Austin where the dirty hippie mamas often do these “bizarre feeding acts”.

“Thank you for calling Applebees yadda yadda yadda” says unassuming young man.

Me: “Hi, do you have a policy on breastfeeding at your restaurant?”

Him: “I’m sorry?”

Me: “If I come to eat there with my family, can I breastfeed my baby?”

Him: “If you cover up with a blanket then there shouldn’t be a problem, but there’s no policy I know of.”

Me: “OK thanks.”

So while the responses aren’t “you go girlfriend, good for you that you are providing the food nature (if you’re in Lubbock, God) intended,” I was surprised to learn that Hooters in a very conservative town came out the winner over Applebees in much more progressive Austin.

Also Lexi scored a few extra points for Hooters when she used the word “family”. Because this isn’t about me having the right to nurse, it’s about my baby having the right to eat. Breastfeeding awareness and acceptance isn’t a woman’s issue, it’s a family issue. We humans didn’t secure a place in the Mammal category because of formula. Plus Applebees gets a big point deduction for giving a toddler a sippy cup full of MARGARITA in June, even if it was an accident. After throwing up and a sleepy trip to the hospital, the little guy bounced back from the tequila tango. Top shelf tequila for a toddler on June 14th, OOPS. Breastfeeding a baby uncovered on June 15th, NOT ACCEPTABLE. Gotcha.

So Hooters in Lubbock, ironically I will be in your area this weekend. If I can convince Nana and Granddad to eat with me and my girls at your location, I might just buy a t-shirt after my meal. Does Hooters sell nursing tops?

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31 responses to “Applebees Hates Babies, Try Hooters Instead

  1. I’m just curious why you think it’s OK to make dozens of people uncomfortable versus one person. Wouldn’t it be the gracious thing to show some courtesy for people who would be uncomfortable with someone exposing their breasts while they are eating?

    I don’t agree with asking her to leave but I don’t think it’s right to say that this one woman should be catered to and the hell with everyone else.

  2. thanks for the comment. First of all, we as a society need to examine why breastfeeding makes people uncomfortable. I’ve never heard of a woman exposing both breasts in public to nurse a baby as you have implied. Also, I’m sure it made a few white people uncomfortable when blacks were finally allowed to integrate into restaurants. Hell, it probably still does, but does that mean the black person should be “considerate” and help those feel more comfortable?

    I’m glad that you don’t agree with asking her to leave because that would be agreeing with an establishment who chose to break the law.

    Our breastfeeding rates in this country are pathetic. Physicians and government officials (when not taking money from formula companies) agree that it’s because of the stigma attached. Let’s do what’s right for our babies and if there are those that are uncomfortable, then they can look elsewhere. An adult has the ability to look away, a baby should not have to suffer in heat under a blanket or in a restroom while trying to eat.

  3. Good for you. I may have to check out our local Hooters. With the outfits their employees wear how can they POSSIBLY be offended by a nursing mom exposing a little skin!

  4. The problem is people have this stigma that anytime a breast is shown, it’s completely sexual and should be kept in the bedroom. Feeding mothers aren’t taking their boobies out and wiggling about for people. They are just feeding their child the way that nature intended.

  5. Jason, be “gracious” to breastfeeding mamas and get over it.

  6. Reading stuff like this makes me so angry. Good answer to Jason above; when I read his comment I felt blood rising up my face. It’s sickening that people are uncomfortable by people feeding their child. Fabulous post!!

  7. It seems a bit ironic to think that we should be SO upset about the way one person was made uncomfortable, when many others were while she was nursing. I AM a proud nursing mother and a dietitian, but I understand that it may seem unusual or uncomfortable for complete strangers to see me nurse. It actually would seem selfish of me to think that no ONE would have a problem seeing my breasts, especially in a public place. It is very simple to be Modest without neglecting the right to feed your child, I do it every single day. If the person was not trying to be modest and discrete… I would have to agree more with your frustrations.
    As much as we as mothers agree that it is the best and normal and natural thing to do, it is still reasonalbe to ask that we be modest in public, it is not a ridiculous task to ask. I would have to feel I was being selfish if I thought it was too dificult to throw a blanket over my shoulder, or always have one with me. I feel that I am just as entitled to my opinion, not wanting to seem argumentative, just viewing this from a different angle.

  8. And, how could anyone that cares so much about the female body, want to promote such a disrespectful-to-women establishment as hooters?

  9. Amanda: I couldn’t help but notice you said hooters is disrespectful to women? How is it disrespectful to women? The outfits? wow! Shorts and a tank top! Its not a strip club. You should go in sometime. Everyone’s friendly and will be nice to you as long as you are polite and actually participate in attempts at conversation.

    Is it because you think Hooters takes advantage of women? How by providing an woman a place to work and make enough money to work towards a degree? Hooters even has programs to help pay tution for the girls in school!

    All Im saying is don’t knock Hooters because of what you think. Try it out. Hell if you think you could talk to 30 men a day apply at your local hooters. You might even learn what a great place it is!

  10. Amanda, I’m a little bit dismayed that, despite being a fellow nursing mother, you are taking the side of a corporation that is asking women to cover themselves up in order to feed a baby. Not only is that going to make the baby uncomfortable (I mean, do YOU want to eat under a blanket?), it is implying that there is something dirty or shameful about nursing. Show me a nursing mother that is wiggling her breasts for all to see, and I’ll agree with you that there should be a call for modesty. But sitting in the back booth of a restaurant with a baby on your breast while you wait for your food? I mean, why do you get to eat but not your baby? And, if you were a baby, would you rather have a warm, soft human nipple in your mouth, or a cold, hard silicone one?

    Come on, sister. Drop the Puritanical crap and embrace your nursing relationship with your child as one of the most beautiful and healthy gifts you are able to give.

  11. And can somebody PLEASE tell me where the Austin nurse-in is tomorrow? Me and my hungry hungry hippos are ready.

  12. And can somebody PLEASE tell me where the Austin nurse-in is tomorrow? Me and my hungry hungry hippos are ready.

  13. If your going to show your tits at hooters Why not show them at your local strip club. You have to get down and dirty to make a baby why not just show your tits all the time. All women are made with the same basic tits and ass. I just need to know why nursing mothers can show their tits all the time. I would like to show my tits all the time but I don’t want the baby to go with it. I am so tired of women with kids thinking they should some special treatment. Anyone can make a baby. Your not special and neither are your kids.

  14. The fact that Hooters exists and people go makes me wonder why people have a problem with mom’s breastfeeding in public. Honestly, you see more skin at Hooters!!

  15. I am all in on this one girl! I would like to ask this question : How are you so easily offended by a mother breastfeeding when the most private part is obviously covered by the babies mouth; yet, you can walk right past Victoria’s Secret and see the same thing ( I have to add here that sometimes under the lace you can see a “change of color” ), but nobody is offended! I wish I were free today, I would take my 21 mo old nursling to Applebees and let her nurse! Wonder what they would say to me LOL!

  16. This is a GREAT article. Although I will say that every time I read a comment that made my blood boil and was going to post a response somebody had beaten me to it! Of course, the people who are basically commenting that they don’t want to see a woman bfeeding (including a bfeeding mom saying that….how sad…..) will not be swayed by anything any of us have to say in support of a baby’s right to eat when they are hungry, and to eat the way nature intended. Unfortunately there probably is no way to change the ignorant point of view that a baby should have to have their head covered, eat in a dirty bathroom, or in a too hot or too cold car.

  17. to 9:25 pm Amanda: the only person’s feelings I care about are the baby’s. Sounds like his meal was interrupted because someone else couldn’t keep their eyes on their own plate. Lame.

    to tits: countless studies have been done on whether breastfed babies are smarter than formula fed ones. Now Docs are saying “yes” again, they are. So if your mother had shown you her “tits” then maybe you wouldn’t have spelled “you’re” “your” twice. Another sentence of yours–“I am so tired of women with kids thinking they should some special treatment.” Just an observation. Yes it’s catty but your comment was pure silliness. And not only are my kids special, they’re amazing and wonderful too.

  18. to breeda kahlo: My comment has nothing to do with breast milk being better than formula. It has everything to do with mothers thinking they are so gifted for reproducing. My mother did breastfed me. My mother wasted her life raising 5 kids. My mother is depressed and tired of her life now that she has no babies. My mom stays at home all day with the dog because she can’t do anything else. My mother has no purpose in life now that all her children are grown. Mothers and their children don’t deserve any special treatment just for breast feeding. The guest in the restruant had every right to complain. The manager had to resolve the complaint because it is their job. The mother had every right it nurse. Why did she leave if she knew she wasn’t doing anything wrong. In this situation the mother overreacted because someone voiced their opinion. What kind of mom takes a baby into a bar full of secondhand smoke among other things. Only you think your kids are special, amazing and wonderful. The rest of the world finds them to be annoying. Keep your kids in child friendly environments and everyone will be happy. Babies don’t belong in bars and drunks don’t belong in nursery school.

  19. Mothers don’t deserve special treatment for breastfeeding, mothers deserve equal treatment. If a mom felt they had no choice but to cover their bottle fed baby while eating that would be considered ridiculous. If you don’t want to be a mom and find kids annoying why are you reading a breeder blog in the first place? I welcome different views, but can’t quite figure out what you’re trying to get across.

  20. Grrrrr….pearls before swine, Breeda, pearls before swine.

  21. I get so sick of people saying be “modest”. Well guess what, I guess I should never leave my house then since my child has pushed my shirt and bra up and out of the way from the beginning. You all need to move on and stop staring.

  22. Wow! Why are Americans such prudes on the one hand, and purveyors and consumers of porn, on the other. Grow friging up!
    About ten years ago, here in Ontario, a law was passed that made legal for a woman to walk topless on the streets. The argument was, ‘men can walk shirtless on hot days, why can’t women?’ Of course, I have only seen one woman on the street topless and this was soon after the law was passed. Nevertheless, the principle was an important one.
    I am a son, a father, a husband, a brother, and an uncle, to name a few of the roles I play. Similarly, breasts are sexual, part of a woman’s femininty, and a means of delivering the perfect food for an infant. See! One man, many roles. One breast, many roles. It’s all in the context! ‘Nuff said.

  23. Zahir: you have made my point in a much more eloquent way using fewer words. That’s exactly why I called Hooters in the first place. I was curious to hear their response to the use of breasts for their primary function. Even their answer shows how far we have to go, but at least they wouldn’t demand a cover or kick someone out for it. Hopefully.

    Maybe someday the Iraqis will invade our country to help American women achieve better rights.

  24. thanks for the GREAT post! Very useful…

  25. Well, you called it right, there is going to be a nurse-in in Lubbock stemming from the banning of artwork depicting a nursing mother. You can read more about it in the Lubbock Avalance Journal http://www.lubbockonline.com

  26. Hey there, awesome post. I’m from Lubbock, and I have to say, that most people would look the other way and leave a nursing mama alone. Conservative? Who cares? It’s not about that. It’s about being polite, respecting the right of the mom and baby to feed and survive, and having the dignity and intelligence to move on and let it go. Good grief, the honest to goodness reason people get uncomfortable when women bfeed in public is because they’re ignorant. If a man gets uncomfortable, it’s because the boob isn’t in a tight shirt being flashed in a provocative manner at him. If a woman gets uncomfortable, it’s probably because she’s a) irritated by mothers and children to begin with or b) jealous that she has no children. I grew up in Lubbock (supposedly the most conservative town in the universe), and it’s NOT the button-down folks who would stir things up. They’d honestly look away (and maybe blush a little).
    I’ll settle down a little, and go nurse my baby!

  27. Hey Ladies,

    I am a woman and I certainly do NOT want to see your sagging tits while I am enjoying a meal I paid for. Please I beg you breeders – stay home with your damn kids.

  28. Nicky, on behalf of humanity I thank you for leading your genetics into a biological dead-end. You have done the world a favor by not reproducing. Thank you.

  29. Pingback: Baby Names » Applebees Hates Babies Try Hooters Instead Breeders are Eaters too!

  30. I see I am late to this party, but I can’t help but chime in. I hope that this Jason is still milling around to see it.
    Jason,
    I’m sure dozens of uptight people are uncomfortable when they are exposed to a woman’s belly and the skin above her breast (the hungry babe will cover most) if she nurses is a restaurant. But then again, MORE than dozens of people are uncomfortable around fat people. And since the American Board of Pediatrics has linked not childhood obesity to not being breastfeed, society can only have one or another. That’ right, adult obesity, meaning that the ABP has looked through medical records of willing people and established a link in people who were thin or an average weight in childhood and early adulthood but then developed weight problems into the mid and late adulthoods. Overwhelmingly those with mid to late life weight problems, who guessed it, weren’t breast feed.
    One of the reasons I was soooo adament in nursing my own kids was for that reason (I am a FAT ASS) and the documented proof that non-nursed kids had a higher rate of allergies, which I also dealt with regularly.
    Oddly, I suspect most of the adults who are so offended by public nursing indulge themselves in various degrees of nudity via the tv. Beyond that, many are parents who watch this around their parents. Yet breast-feeding mommas are somehow exposing these strangers’ kids to more than Desperate Housewives. Seriously.
    The Europeans are such a natural opinion of a child nursing. It’s nothing sexual and if you have that opinion, you are wrong. Not the other way around. Nursing in public is the same was walking in public. No big deal. Now, I’m not blaming this for America’s weight in ratio to most of Europe’s. That’s purely an observation.
    If you did make it back to this late post, Jason, I hope you are still reading. With all the above mentioned benefits to your child that breastfeeding provides (I didn’t even go into short-term physical health, brain development, etc., etc.), I want you to know that I stayed home when I had my baby. I mean, really stayed home. However, something would periodically come up that we would have to venture out. One great example was my father in law’s birthday three hours from here. I did have pumped milk, but I gave most of it to him on the trip.
    ***If you have never nursed a baby in a car or in a restroom, as you suggested, I’m sure you think I should’ve done that. However, if you have nursed, you can testify that prompt success lays strongly on physical comfort of both Mom and Baby. Bathrooms and cars are notoriously awful, arm rests, if they exist, are in the wrong place.
    So, as an adult, if you are soooo offended by the knowledge that bare breasts are underneath that baby who is, by the way, covering her momma, you need to find a sex ed class near junior high students near you that is intended for your kids, more mature than you.
    However, I don’t want non-nursing moms to think I’m judging their decision not to nurse. I just want to point out that most nursing moms don’t frequent restaurants because we don’t want to deal with the pointed eye brows. Occasionally, though, we do have something come up with a big family deal.

    This week is National Nursing Awareness Week. Can I use some of this info for my own post?

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