Hi,I went to your Downtown Crossing location yesterday to get a salad. I have the receipt from my purchase that I can send you as well. At the salad counter, I was helped by a male staff member who appeared to be a manager. When I approached the counter, he told me to smile. When I did not smile for him, he told me, “Smile so that I can start making your salad.” This is completely unacceptable behavior for a) an employee to exhibit towards a customer and b) a male to exhibit towards a female. It is objectifying and condescending. It is sexual harassment as well, as women should not be obligated to look a certain way for someone. My service at your restaurant should not have been predicated on whether or not I smile for the person serving me. I also witnessed this same manager call several female employees “honey.” I cannot imagine what working in that environment must be like for women.I then walked up to the counter to pay for my salad and was greeted by the male employee working the register with a, “Hello, beautiful!” When I did not smile at him after this unsolicited comment on my appearance, he asked my why I wasn’t smiling and then called me “pretty lady.” Again, this interaction is harassment.I am quite sure that neither of these interactions would have happened this way if I had been a male customer. And why should female customers be treated any differently? I did not go into your restaurant to be hit on by employees, sexually harassed, or treated like an object. I went in to get food. To answer the questions of your employees as to why I wasn’t smiling, it was because of the way they spoke to me. It was because they told me I should be.I expect a response from your company about this incident. Futhermore, I have to wonder what kind of sexual harassment training, if any, your employees receive. I am the site director of an organization called Hollaback! Boston and we are fighting harassment in public space in the Greater Boston area. We have a Safer Spaces campaign, and I’d like to propose that your company participate in the campaign. We would come in and provide a training to your employees about harassment, between employees, between customers, and from employee to customer. We would ask you to take a pledge to not allow harassment in your establishment and to take it seriously when reported to you. You can see more information about our campaign here.If I don’t receive any response, I will assume that you condone the harassment of your customers by your employees and I will write about it publicly on the Hollaback! Boston website. Again, I ask you to consider my offer to allow me to come into your company and train your employees about sexual harassment. The behavior that your employees exhibited is unprofessional, disrespectful, and unacceptable. I imagine that I am not the first female customer that has had to deal with harassment from your male employees and I hope that you take the right action to follow up.I did not see nametags on either employee. My receipt was run up at 4:10 PM, my SvrCk is 96 and the number at the top is F-0869a.I look forward to your response.
I received a response from UDG about this matter. Here it is.
Ms. de la Cretaz,
I am sorry to respond via email but I did not receive your phone number. I was quite dissappointed to hear of your experience on Wednesday at our Summer Street location and have begun an investigation into what occurred and who was involved. We take these issues very seriously and apprecitate the fact that you took the time to share this with us so that we may investigate and take action to insure that our employees understand and can demonstrate appropriate behavior between them and our guests
Thank you again for bringing this to my attention and allowing me the opportunity to improve our performance.
Vice President, Uno Dué Go
100 Charles Park Road
West Roxbury, MA 02132
I appreciated the response but deemed it not good enough. I asked for follow up and I asked to be notified how, exactly, the incident would be handled. I also inquired again as to whether or not their staff receive sexual harassment training.
Thanks for responding, Chris. I would appreciate a follow up as to how to incident was handled, as well. I’m also still curious about what, if any, sexual harassment training staff at your company receive. If you’d prefer to contact me by phone, my number is [redacted].
So far, I have not received any kind of response. It has been several weeks and I have not received an email, phone call, or tweet. Needless to say, I will not be eating at Uno Due Go any longer. It’s a shame, too, because their salads are awesome.