If Obama Had a Daughter: IHOP Waitress Pulls Knife on Customers
Come hungry, leave terrified?
That’s what one customer claims happened when she, her husband, and their two special needs children (both under 4) visited the IHOP in Massapequa, New York last Friday.
Police arrested IHOP waitress Rhonda Kelly for “menacing customers with a steak knife” after they complained about the server’s really bad service.
NBC reported that after the couple complained to a manager about extremely poor service, the family was asked to leave the restaurant.
I’m curious what it was about this particular customer complaint that prompted the manager to kick them out rather than apologizing on behalf of the waitress. Isn’t the latter standard operating procedure in response to a complaint of poor service?
The mother revealed that her children have special medical and learning needs. If you’re not used to it, that can try the patience of a saint.
It could have all ended right there and then.
But, as the family got up to leave, another IHOP employee purportedly made some derogatory, or at the very least, insensitive comments about the children’s disabilities.
Then all hell broke loose at the house of never-ending sugar highs.
An argument ensued between the couple and several wait staff, who, at that point, had allegedly surrounded the family.
According to the mother’s social media post, that triggered Kelly, who had waited on the family, to brandish a steak knife and threaten the family:
“A verbal argument ensued and then that’s when the waitress Ronda Kelley grabbed a knife holding it in an attack manner and said, ‘You wanna go B-tch!’ and came at my two small children, my husband, and myself.”
The mother said another IHOP employee quickly grabbed the knife away from the Kelly. Then the family left the premises.
No physical injuries were reported, but the family was badly shaken by the incident. And who wouldn’t be?
To have your complaints ignored by management is bad enough. But to have the wait staff mob your family as if a couple with two small kids were somehow a threat to national security or ANTIFA protestors out to trash the place? It’s nonsensical.
Lingering Not So Fresh or Fruity Questions
No one is saying why the manager asked the family to leave instead of addressing their complaint. However, statements made by IHOP employees are revealing.
Franchise owner Camile Gnolfo disclosed on Monday that the business is cooperating with the ongoing police investigation. Certainly that means the restaurant’s security cameras captured the confrontation.
Massapequa IHOP regular and witness Ashley Gregory claims the alleged victims were actually the troublemakers, and not Kelly.
“She did not come at her with a knife. When [the family] walked in, they were complaining about prices. I’ve been a waitress for many years and it was sad the way they were treating that waitress.”
Gregory did not offer any examples of the alleged poor treatment directed by this family towards Kelly. But if they were trouble makers from the moment they entered the restaurant, why weren’t they kicked out immediately?
An IHOP manager stated:
“An incident took place that required us to call police to ensure safety.”
So, it was the restaurant who called the police. Whose safety, exactly, were they trying to ensure? Because I guarantee you that this woman and her young family did not feel safe walking out of that pancake shack.
Gnolfo also stated:
“This was a situation that would be difficult for anyone to imagine and we wish the outcome had been different. Multiple employees reacted to what they viewed as an immediate threat to their personal safety.”
Okay, so were the customers threatening the wait staff? Or was it Kelly?
What is clear at this point is that the waitress, Kelly, was charged with second-degree menacing. She was released on a promise to appear, and is due back in court later this month. Let’s hope they keep her away from customers in the meantime.