Thursday, June 24, 2010

Breastfeeding at Red Robin, aka OMG *Now With Update*

Okay, I'm starting at the beginning, because stories need back stories to make sense.

I am visiting my family in the Tri-City, Washington area. It was my little brother's graduation so I decided now would be a great time to come. The Hubby had to work so he stayed home and pulled in some overtime. On Father's Day The Hubby drove up for a visit, but he left Wednesday morning in order to be home in time for his shift that night. So Tuesday night we embarked to the only Red Robin in the area, situated in Kennewick, for a date.

Of course, it was a three-way date, considering that Doozer is too young to go very long without eating. Red Robin had been one of our favorite date spots, but I hadn't had Red Robin burger in a long time due to the fact their original Boca patties contained cheese. I was very excited for our date since Red Robin has recently started offering Vegan Boca Patties.

We ordered our food and started enjoying a toddler-free evening. Doozer became fussy near the beginning of our date. It was her tired/hungry fuss, which always turns into a full blown scream if not attended to quickly.

I started to nurse her my usual way, by lifting up the hem of my shirt. This time it made me very uncomfortable to do so, because:

1) We were seated at a booth, so in order for Doozer to be in the right position she had to be above the table, and
2) I was wearing a tighter knit shirt.

The combination of the nursing position and shirt design made it so my shirt was pulled way up, exposing most of my midriff and part of my back. That made me feel very undressed, so I opted to instead breastfeed with my breast pulled over my neckline, somewhat like this picture, but I had sleeves on my shirt and my neckline wasn't so low. My shirt, when normally viewed, showed no cleavage. Doozer often had her arm covering the top of my breast, and the way she was position covered even more skin. I did not use a blanket or other cover. I have reasons for this:

1) I feel it's disrespectful for the little person at my breast to cover them up in a hot, stuffy blanket so others, particularly mature adults, can feel more comfortable.
2) I know people will not become accustomed to breastfeeding unless they see it, so I feel I'm doing my part to spread awareness and eventually acceptance.
3) In Doozer's particular case she has had RSV plus two more colds. Her breathing is not always the best and when she nurses I become awfully worried sometimes that she's not getting enough oxygen since her nose is so stuffed up. I'm not going to add to the problem by throwing a blanket over her head or have cloth too close to her nose.

About halfway through our meal, after the waitress had suggested another basket of fries, the manager came up. As soon as I had seen him my heart sank. Here was the conversation:

Manager: I'm very sorry to be bothering you, but do you have a blanket you can use to cover up? We've had a complaint. The is a family restaurant and so it would be nice if you could cover up.

Me: No.

The Hubby: It's my wife's legal right to nurse wherever she wants to.

Manager: I understand that, but this is a family restaurant. I have a shirt in the back.

The Hubby: (dumbfounded look)

Me: No, in that case, we'll just leave.

Manager: I'm really sorry, but this is a family restaurant.

The Hubby: Can we get some boxes for our food?

Manager: Of course. I'm sorry.

He didn't give any alternative to covering up, and his demeanor was such that I felt his next question would be one asking us to leave, hence why I offered to leave. I was so angry and embarrassed I didn't get the manager's name. He brought out boxes, we eventually got our check, and we left. The rest of our date consisted of hanging out in my sister's basement watching "Glee" and complaining.

Wednesday Morning, after The Hubby left for his four-hour-drive home I hopped on my Facebook account and updated my status to this (names have been changed to my blog nicknames):

"Went on a date last night with [The Hubby] to the Kennewick Red Robin. Left after the manager came up to us and asked us if we had a blanket I could use while I was nursing [Doozer]. [The Hubby] said it was our legal right to nurse anywhere we wanted, but I guess the manager didn't get that memo."

Well, the number of comments I received far exceeded my expectations. As of right now it's up to 145 comments. My good friend looked up Washington State's specific law on breastfeeding and found this:

"Breastfeeding mothers are protected under state anti-discrimination law, and can breastfeed their children in public places such as restaurants, pools, theaters,
government buildings, museums, libraries, busses, or parks. No one, including business owners or employees can tell a mother to leave, go to the restroom, or cover the child."

Here is article talking about the civil rights law. The article also discusses other civil rights laws passed in Washington. Here is the law about who cannot be discriminated against in public places. Here is a good question-and-answer about public breastfeeding for establishments and mothers.

After hearing about the law and reading all the comments posted by my friends I realized I needed to follow up with Red Robin. First I contacted the Kennewick Red Robin to get the name of the manager (later it turned out that through an innocent mistake they gave me the wrong name). Then I called their Guest Relations and left a message. They called me back and told me they were going the pass the matter onto their Regional Manager. They also told me my friend had called to tell them telling them how upset she was at how I was treated. There was some confusion since my friend and I have the same last name, they thought she was family.

A few hours later the Regional manager called me. The conversation went like this:

Regional Manager: I am so so sorry this happened to you! Can you tell me what happened?

Me: My husband and I decided to go on a date with our 3.5 month old daughter. We were excited to go to Red Robin because you now have the vegan Boca patties. While we were there I was feeding my daughter without a cover. The manager came over and asked me to cover up and that someone had complained. My husband told him it was my legal right to nurse. The manager said that was right, but could I still cover up, he had a shirt I could use. We said no, we'll just leave, and we did.

RM: I'm so sorry that happened. I know the manager in question and he's going to be so embarrassed. I'm sure he didn't know your rights.

Me: I understand, but my husband told him it was my legal right.

RM: Well, I'm sure that because he had gotten complaints. We will tell him it's the law that you can breastfeed. I'm really sorry this happened. But it's hard because it is a family restaurant. And we can't expect all the managers to know all the laws about breastfeeding.

Me: I understand that, but it's the law.

RM: I know, but there are children that go to Red Robin and it's now summer vacation so a lot of families are going.

Me: I understand your position, some people are uncomfortable seeing breastfeeding in public, but the law says I can do it anywhere, anytime and any way I want to and business owners or employees cannot ask me to move, leave, or cover up.

RM: I know, and we are going to inform the manager about your rights. But if there are three tables that complain, how can we shun those three tables to make one family happy? This is a family restaurant and we need to make it friendly for families.

Me: I understand your position, but it's the law that I can breastfeed uncovered.

RM: Well, we're really sorry about what happened and we want to make it up to you and we want you to come back and have a better experience. We want to send you a gift card.

The rest of the conversation consisted of the manager getting my information to send me a gift card. She also asked me about my friend who called in. She thought we were family somehow. I told her we were good friends who happened to marry men with the same last name. These are the problems I had with this apology:

1) Although I do not doubt the fact she was sorry this happened she still conveyed the feeling that she felt the Kennewick manager was in the right.
2) She did not fully expect her managers to know the local laws.
3) She told me only the single manager was going to be informed, not all of them.
4) She did not assure me that this wouldn't happen in the future. In fact, quite the opposite, I got the feeling that it WOULD happen again if other patrons complained about a breastfeeding mother.

So where I am now is considering a nurse-in at Red Robin. Not a screaming, ranting, sign-waving, every-breast-uncovered nurse-in. Rather I would like it to be a peaceful, thought-provoking experience where mothers come and nurse however they are comfortable whenever their babies need it. I want to show not only Red Robin but their patrons that breastfeeding is normal and not offensive. I want them to see it so they get used to it. Maybe it'll give the Red Robin staff a chance to use their new PR skills.


Update 06/24/2010: I got a call from Liz at corporate at 10:00am today. It was a very positive phone call! Here's the conversation that took place:

Liz: First off, is now a good time to talk? I know you're a mom and really busy.

Me: Yeah, now is good, my littlest is asleep and the older one is watching TV with his uncle.

Liz: Okay. We are so sorry about what happened the other day. There's a lot of information about what happened and I wanted to hear it from you. Is that okay?

Me: Yes, that's just fine. Tuesday night I went on a date with my husband. We had my daughter with me and she got hungry so I started to feed her. At first I was pulling my shirt up but since we were at a booth it was really awkward and I was really exposed. Being in that position made my shirt be in my armpits. So I decided to bring my breast over my neckline and nurse that way. Then the manager came up to us and said somebody had complained and asked us to cover up. I said no and my husband informed the manager that it was my legal right to nurse wherever I wanted. The manager said he understood that but this was a family restaurant and he had a shirt I could use to cover up. I said we would just leave.

Yesterday I posted about my experience on Facebook and started talking to my friends about it. One of my friends found out the law in Washington is that managers, business owners, or employees cannot ask a woman to leave, stop breastfeeding, or cover up. I knew that my right to breastfeed was protected but I thought that a manager could ask you to leave. Once I learned the full extent of the law I contacted Red Robin's Guest Services about it. I got a call from Guest Services telling me they would have the Regional Director call me.

She did call me, and I'm sorry, but I don't remember her name. She told me she was sorry, and that she was going to talk to the manager who had talked to me, and that they were sending me a gift card. However, she also said that it's not really the job of the managers to learn the laws. She also didn't give me any assurance it wouldn't happen again. She said that the managers are supposed to make the majority happy, so if a lot of people complain about a breastfeeding that the manager would probably talk to the breastfeeding mom about covering up. I feel that's not good enough. So, yeah, that's what's been going on.

Liz: Well, I again wanted to say how sorry I am that this happened. I'm a mom who has breastfed and I know how important it is. Moms who are breastfeeding should be able to feed their babies wherever they need to. The manager was in the wrong and we are going to instigate a company wide training to teach about what to do when customers complain about breastfeeding.

Me: I think that sounds like a great idea, that would be wonderful.

Liz: We have training for our managers already to train them on local laws and such, we contract with an independent third party to do our training. We will be sure to make an emphasis on breastfeeding training. We'll start immediately at the Kennewick Red Robin, but I want to let you know it's going to take a little bit of time to implement it nationwide.

Me: I understand, it's a big company. I'm glad you're implementing this.

Liz: Now, I want to make it very clear that I'm not making excuses, but it's a very sticky situation for our managers to deal with. It's hard to make everyone happy. Do you have any ideas on how to help?

Me: Yes, I do. First of all, there is a website for Washington breastfeeding laws that offers little cards you can print out. Mothers can use them to inform others about their rights and managers can give them to customers who complain to explain the laws. That way your managers can say, "I'm sorry, but it's the law," without the customer getting mad at the restaurant.

Liz: That's a great idea!

Me: They also have fliers you can print up and display in a prominent place of your restaurant informing customers of the law. Also, I know that breastfeeding laws are different everywhere. In Washington mother's rights are protected but in Idaho I know managers can ask you to leave. It would be really nice if Red Robin was a breastfeeding friendly restaurant everywhere, regardless of the laws.

Liz: That would be good. Do you have the website for those cards? That's a great idea.

Me: I don't know it off the top of my head, but I can email it to you. Do you want me to send it to guest relations or do you have a specific address you want me to use?

Liz: You can use guest relations, but here's my email address, it's really easy. [Email address]. If you have any ideas you can send them here, we want to hear them and we want to have an open dialouge.

Me: I can't think of anything else right now, but I'll ask my friends if they have any ideas. I wanted to say that I really appreciate this phone call, thank you for doing all this.

Liz: My pleasure, we just want everyone to be happy.


So overall I'm really happy with how Red Robin is handling this now. I don't think I'll organize an official nurse-in but I think it would be a good idea for mothers to go to Red Robin and nurse. Also, let them know how you feel about how you want them to uphold a mother's right to breastfeed, whether it's state law or not.

If they don't do what they say they're going to then we can take this further. But as of right now I'm feeling pretty happy.

Updated again: I wanted to add a link to the web page that has the little cards to pass out. Enjoy!


  1. Even though I'm no longer nursing, we would love to come and show our support.

  2. We will be there just tell me when and where.


  3. They need to be informed that being a family resteraunt means accommodating a nursing baby's needs. Or they are not by any reasonable definition a family resteraunt.

  4. Krista---I want to know what steps they are taking to ensure you have a "better experience?"

  5. I have a couple issues with a "nurse-in"...they are just MY issues, lol. The primary being that the intent is that a baby will nurse where ever and when ever they NEED to feed...awesome! How many babies will NEED to nurse at noon on Thursday, know what I mean? The secondary being that if people have an issue with seeing nursing moms...having a bunch show up and "shove it in their face" isn't going to change their minds. I totally understand that moms use discretion so seeing that moms do nurse without having to be completely topless, is always a good is seeing babies of all ages nursing. All of that being said, I totally support you in doing what you feel needs to be done! And I would be there, to show my support!

    Personally I think it would be an interesting experience to see moms spread out, through out the restaurant...all nursing however, whenever they see fit, and see how the staff responds. A true 'test' of how they would handle the situation.

    The thing that perplexes me is that business don't seem to understand that with the new laws this is a violation of your civil rights, meaning that you can take them to court! I don't know many moms that would go to that extent, or that would want to...but businesses need to understand just the weight of their decisions!

  6. I wrote a letter today to them and i am spreading the story. Love you sis!

    My letter:
    It has come to my attention that a manager at this location discriminated against a breastfeeding mother and her child on June 22, 2010 by asking her to cover up while nursing her infant daughter. I am deeply disturbed by this managers actions and his violation of Washington State human rights laws.

    It is the responsibility of Red Robin and their managers and employees to know the state laws and have a breastfeeding policy in place that follows these laws.

    In case you are not aware of what the Washington State breastfeeding laws are, here is a link:

    Because of this incident, I, and my family will no longer be customers of your restaurant and I am encouraging my family, friends and online communities to do the same.

    I would reconsider my stand if Red Robin:
    *Issues a sincere public apology to the breastfeeding mother.

    *Announces publicly their breastfeeding accommodation policy by posting the policy in an easily accessible location at the restaurant so guests can easily know of your policy.

    *Institutes training for ALL of their employees to educate them on the sate breastfeeding laws and how to properly handle a situation with an offended guest.

    I sincerely hope that your company will take this opportunity to change company policies regarding breastfeeding mothers to make the dining experience of ALL your guests more pleasurable.

    Thank you for your time

  7. If it's a "family" restaurant, they should understand that families have babies and need to be nursed. Otherwise it's a regular establishment and not a family restaurant in my view. Their explanation is not appropriate for the situation. If you were being obscene, using inappropiate language or something else objectional, I could understand being approached and told it was a family establishment. But you were feeding your baby with legal right to do so. It wasn't long ago that there was no such thing as formula and it was common to see a woman breastfeeding in public in churches, parks, restaurants, banks, and many other public establishments and it was considered common and normal. What a shame that the population in general has shunned the health and rights of babies in the name of decency.

  8. You all ready know how I feel! I've been completely dissatisfied by the responses I've gotten from them as well. Here's what they replied to me on Twitter:
    @faedemere RR corp policy is follow local laws, incl #breastfeeding. RR Mgr has apologized to guest & policy to be reinforced for ALL RRs

    My question is WHAT IS YOUR POLICY?? Just to follow local laws? That isn't a breastfeeding friendly policy. Idaho has no law protecting breastfeeding mothers, so if someone who lives in Washington and is used to being able to go to RR to eat and breastfeed their child goes to Idaho to a RR they can be asked to leave. That is unacceptable to me.

  9. Yup, a silent nurse in would work best. Have breast feeding moms that arrive throughout the day, order food and nurse. Have those little cards on hand and pass them out until staff is trained :) I think a large protest will just get a negative response from those that don't already agree with the law. (unfortunately)

  10. Not taking the restaurant's side but a couple of nitpicks, from the way you tell the story:
    He did not tell you to cover up, he asked you to.
    He did not tell you to leave, you volunteered.
    So what he did (from a legal perspective) was convey a request from a patron regarding the behavior of another patron, and remedy the issue in a way that was satisfactory to both patrons. (You did VOLUNTEER to leave.)

    Just for a moment, consider the situation from his perspective. He has three sets of customers telling him they are gravely offended. Now what were his options? Tell them to get over it, that your right to nurse is legally protected... and lose their business? He's making $12 an hour or so, and if he offends patrons and they complain about his behavior it can come out of his pocket, depending on store policy.

    He maybe could have reseated them in locations where they couldn't see you, if there was room (don't know how busy the place was.)Or maybe reseated you out of their view.

    What alternatives would you have suggested to him?

  11. Those are good points Irene, but Washington law is VERY CLEAR on what the manager's options are.
    He cannot ask her to cover up, even asking is against the law.
    He MUST inform those complaining that her right to breastfeed however she wants is protected under civil rights laws in that state.
    The company cannot punish the manager if customers walk out if he is only upholding the law. However if Krista was the litigating kind and chose to press the issue his violation of her rights could be punished.
    If enough people hear that it's the law maybe they will just accept it?
    If not then there are ways to fight for their side of the issue. The same channels breastfeeding mothers used to get the law written and passed in the 1st place.

  12. But even *asking* a mother to cover up is breaking the law. Babies have a right to eat, and mother's have a right to breastfeed where ever and whenever and however they want.

    And yes, 3 customers might have been offended, but i know they have lost a lot more business because of all of the nursing mothers and families who are offended and have stated that they will not eat there anymore.

  13. A nurse in sounds like a fantastic idea. Yes, it is a family resturant, but you area family also, it's the law. People complain about screaming toddlers/children ALL the they get kicked out? Not that I have EVER seen. I would be angry too. I would go past guest relations and call corporate. But thats me. Happy that you are standing up for what is right.

  14. Ugh, this just makes me so mad! We have loved going to RR for so many years. I am due August 10 with my third baby and it saddens me that I will most likely not be going to a RR again. A nurse in is a great idea, to show them that it is not offensive to nurse your child in public, but a natural part of life. A baby needs to eat right??
    RR should have something posted in or around the front entrance of their establishment informing all people entering that they do comply with the law. K--that regional manager was wrong to tell you that the manager cannot be expected to know all the laws about breastfeeding. That is completely false! There are training classes and workshops for managers to learn all about HR issues, discrimination issue and I am sure that includes Civil Rights issues too. Most large companies put their management through extensive training, so I do not buy her story about the manager not knowing the specific laws.
    I am all for a nurse in, if I can physically make it there. :-)

  15. Since it's a family restaurant, I wonder why a breastfeeding mother and child don't count as a family according to their managers?

  16. Hello, I'm Jeff's friend and I've been following this as well. I am glad that Washington has laws that protect a woman's breastfeeding rights, but I'm one of those people that just can't stomach seeing a baby feeding on a naked breast. It has nothing to do with the baby, or the breast, just the feeding (guess I'm weird like that). So in this case, I would just stop frequenting the restaurant. If there is the chance that I might have to see that while gnoshing on my Royal Red Robin burger, then I would rather avoid it all together. So anyway, that's my point view on this.

  17. I too heard about this on facebook and wrote a letter to RR. @Irene..the only suggestions to the manager is that he abide by the law. It doesn't matter if other tables don't like the law or are uncomfortable with breastfeeding. By asking her to cover up, he broke the law and doing so IS punishable. She could sue, she could have called the police, etc. Most Mother's would not choose to do that, however maybe they should start. Otherwise, it seems the law isn't going to be taken as seriously as it should be. If anything, it should support breastfeeding Mother's AS a family establishment. Kind of an oxymoron not to and call yourself a family establishment.

  18. Just so we're clear the manager at the RR never told me how many complaints he received. The "tree tables" comment from the Regional Director was, I felt, more on an example.

    I got a call from corporate at about 10:00am, and it was very positive. I'm in the midst of an update m\but had to take a break to *wink* breastfeed my kids. I'll also start commenting on comments later.

    Keep talking!

  19. Travis said "If there is the chance that I might have to see that while gnoshing on my Royal Red Robin burger, then I would rather avoid it all together. So anyway, that's my point view on this." Then in most states you probably wouldn't want to chance eating out at all. 48 states protect a woman's right to breastfeed in public and 28 actually exempt a naked breast that is feeding a child from public indecency laws.
    Perhaps if you should just stay home?

    @Krista WOOOOO HOOO!!!!! What a great update! I'm absolutely thrilled to read this and how open Liz was to making RR a breastfeeding friendly business. I'm very very impressed.

  20. To UPDATE: That good that they are doing something about it. I hope that they implement and don't pull a BP, and say things to make people happy. Love you. :)

  21. i am so much happier with that response than I am about the email I received!

  22. A very positive response! Just as a thought, we could all help support this by actually printing out some of the cards and fliers and taking them in to our own local restaurants to "help" them in distribution. :)

  23. TravisGors - there are lots of things I can't stomach (pot bellied men walking around with their shirts off, for one) but if it bothers me I do this really cool amazing thing. I LOOK AWAY. I know - you probably can't peel your eyes off of boobs, and it is shocking when they are functional and doing what they are made to do (feed babies). That is what they are for, silly goose. I'd squirt you in the eye if I could right now.

  24. @ Faedemere,

    To be honest, I've only witnessed it occurring once at a restaurant. No one hassled the woman at all, and I think that's a good thing. But a couple of us at our table were a little squeamish of it, so we left. The only way we would be able to get out of eye-shot of it would be to sit at the bar, and that wouldn't be comfortable. Luckily the other eight folks in our dinner party were accommodating and left with us.

    I totally agree women should have the right to breast feed anywhere they have to without being hassled. People like me just have leave and spend our money elsewhere.

  25. This is a GREAT update! I'm so happy to hear that they will try to make things better! I just hope they keep their word and really do it!

    Maybe once they decide to be completely breastfeeding friendly they can put the international breastfeeding symbol on their store doors/windows for everyone to see?

  26. At least you admit that Travis. That's more than a lot of people will. I'm not sure where you live, but if you ever go to Austin, TX be prepared. LOL
    Or San Francisco for that matter.

  27. Encourage them to post the International Breastfeeding Symbol!!!

  28. My two cents: I don't personally have any qualms about seeing a woman breastfeeding. I've breastfed all three of my children and I know that sometimes the baby is hungry at inconvenient times.
    The problem I have with this senario is that there were children there....children that weren't yours. Not just small children who would see the breast as a tool for feeding a baby. I'm talking about older-young boys or girls who would be shocked to see it. I know it's your legal right and all, but if I were in the same restaurant with you and I knew that my 5 year old son could see the breast, I would either complain to the manager and have him talk to you, or ask that we be move out of eyeshot of the table. Yes, it's normal and natural. But no, it's not the way I want my sons to get an anatomy lesson. It's not a matter of being embarrased about the body or about nursing, it's about having respect for those around you--those breastfeeding AND those present.

  29. Erin- maybe that moment would be a good time to explain to your son what a woman's breast is REALLY there for... ?

  30. believe me--I would. But I don't think that means it's okay for him to see another person's private part.

  31. Take a look around; breasts really aren't that private. Seeing boobs is a normal part of ANYONE'S day if a person comes within 20 feet of a woman. AND they're pretty much the same whether they're covered or not. Oh yeah, let's not forget those of us who have GIANT boobs--they're GONNA show one way or another. Embrace it.

    A person's privates aren't located in such a conspicuous place--hence the word: PRIVATE.

  32. I won't embrace it...And I don't think I want my son embracing it either. They are private parts no matter where they are located, and they are private for a reason. I teach that to my kids, I expect them to be modest and I hope to keep them from the immodesty that is around them, and I don't think I am wrong for doing so. When they are older, and can better understand what nursing is, I hope they will be comfortable with it...within limits. My husband still is not comfortable seeing another woman nursing, because, let's face it, while breasts are for nursing, they do provoke certain feelings in men (young and old)that have little to do with nurturing. He chooses not to be present when a women is nursing out of respect for her. My son isn't mature enough yet to understand what's going on, or to show enough respect to look away. Call it what you like...but I would much prefer to explain things to my son on MY own terms, in MY own way. Not when the situation is presented to him unexpectedly.

  33. Erin, perhaps your husband would be more comfortable seeing breastfeeding if he had seen it as a child.

    And, yes, you do have the right to teach your children on your own timetable. But what if you don't agree with gay couples yet see a homosexual couple holding hands? Would you explain that to your child if they asked? Should that be banned from public in fear of children seeing it?

    What if you don't agree with straight couples? Should heterosexual couples be banned from holding hands? I mean, it might lead to a discussion that a mother isn't ready to have with her child.

    What about fat people? Thin people? The mentally disabled? Blind? Elderly? Minority? Adopted children?

    There are a lot of uncomfortable things that you can encounter every day, that your child will ask questions about, and they'll eventually have to learn.

    And by the way, if a five year old child was staring at me breastfeeding my child I would smile and wave. I think it's sweet when children take an interest in babies.

  34. OH, Erin, there are sooo many parenting situations that will present themselves before you expect them or are ready for them. That is part of the nature of being a parent. Unexpected things happen! My daughter was called a n*gger when she was only 18 months old. Talk about not being ready! I thought we'd have more time to worry about that, but stuff happens quickly and NOT necessarily on YOUR timetable. Good luck and I hope that everything can unfold for you at precicely when you think the "right" time is, but it is more likely that you'll be pushed and challenged to grow as a parent before you feel ready. Best wishes.

  35. I really enjoyed reading all of these comments. Travis, I know MANY men like you and that is fine and I think it's fantastic that you at least agree that women have the right to do it whether you like it or not. I hope that more women will start breastfeeding in public, covered or not, based on their own comfort level and NOT the comfort level of those around them.

    Erin, I applaud you for sticking to what you believe is right and agree with Krista and others that awkward situations arise anytime. It is absolutely your choice to complain and leave the restaurant and I hope you can recognize to some degree that it is my choice or Krista's choice to breastfeed anywhere she likes.

    Basically I feel that breasts are not something to be exposed at all times everyday AND there is nothing sexual or inappropriate about a woman breastfeeding her child and frankly if men can't handle it because they may get turned on that is their concern, not mine. And especially children, they are not affected by it if it is something they see often from their own mother or other mothers and I like that. That is how it was meant to be in my opinion.

    I guess that is my 2 bits, and Krista I REALLY like those wallet print outs and plan on printing them out for when I breastfeed publicly and someone complains to me about it. Also, I let Red Robin know how I felt from your link. Thanks!

  36. I'm surprised no one mentioned the fact that you, your husband and your child ARE ALSO A FAMILY! IN A "FAMILY" RESTAURANT. You are regular, paying customers and deserved just as much respect as anyone else. I'm glad the whole situation worked itself out. I used to work at Red Robin and they usually try very hard to please their customers. But I hate when anyone uses the "family friendly" argument. I mean, what's more "family friendly" than feeding your child??

  37. Dawn, I was thinking the same thing! Well, after the fact. And he was basically implying that there is something so "wrong" with breastfeeding that it shouldn't be viewed by children. Thanks for stopping by!

  38. Wow! I know this is a really old post, but I just had to respond anyway. I remember nursing my toddler (maybe 15-16 months old at the time) at this exact restaurant. We were visiting town at that time (we now live in the Tri-Cities). We weren't in a booth, but in the middle of a crowded aisle with other tables on both sides of us, and I was wearing a nursing tank top under my shirt but, with a toddler, it's not possible to keep totally covered. I just held my menu up kind of high between myself and my father-in-law across the table, and reminded myself that I had a legal right to do this. It was a little beyond my normal comfort zone but he was hungry and our food wasn't there yet. Also I had a snappy comeback in my head about bottomless beverages, but thankfully I never had to use it.

    Your work may well have contributed to my not being bothered by staff that evening. Thank you so much!!!!!!!

  39. Hannah, it's totally okay for you to comment on old posts. I'm so glad that I may have had a positive influence on the breastfeeding culture in my hometown. Yay!

  40. Thank you for posting your story. My name is also Krista. :)

    I grew up in the Tri-Cities, but recently moved back here after being gone 20 years. Two months ago (7/2011), I was at the Red Robin in Kennewick with my then 1 month old son, 20 month old daughter, and husband. We were seated at a booth next to the waiters' station area. We had been out shopping, so my son was hungry upon arrival. I proceded to breastfeed him almost immediately. When our waiter (male) came to take our drink and then our meal order, he didn't even flinch. He was respectful and didn't appear to be uncomfortable.

    A couple weeks later, I was speaking with some acquaintances about my positive experience there, and learned of your story. In fact, I believe one of the women I was speaking with knows your sister. Upon hearing about your experience, I had to kind of chuckle to myself, and said something to the effect of, "They probably thought I did it just to make a point."

    Anyway, my point is... I want to thank you for speaking up. If not for you and your willingness to right this wrong, I likely would NOT have had that positive experience. So thank you!

  41. Well what a small world! I'm in Tri-Cities WA and Hubby and I went to the Kennewick Red Robin on Thursday. I nursed my 5 wk old twice while we were eating. I covered to latch him because he is slow to latch and I am uncomfortable with flashing a nipple around. But as soon as he is latched I uncover him so I can see him and he can see the world. I had absolutely not one single problem. I even had 3 waitresses stop to ask how old he was and comment on how absolutely adorable he is. Apparently their training mentioned worked! I felt extremely comfortable nursing there (emotionally at least, those booths ARE hard to nurse in, I turned side ways a bit so he could fit on my lap lol).

  42. Krista, the Walleys, that's great! I'm so glad that they are doing better in dealing with breastfeeding mothers and babies.

    And, yes, those booths ARE hard to nurse in! LOL!

  43. Love these last few comments. Looking forward to our next child so i can see if they are still on board with their being breastfeeding friendly :)