When a family with four kids stopped off to eat at California Pizza Kitchen, disaster was looming. Their 13-year-old son, who has autism, was upset and on the verge of a meltdown in the middle of a crowded restaurant on Valentine’s Day. As the mother dreaded what would happen next, the manager came to her rescue, treating the family as if nothing were out of the ordinary.
“He didn’t ask any questions. He didn’t judge me. He smiled, there was kindness in his eyes.” the mom noted in an interview with TV station WXIA. That kind of behavior shouldn’t be considered “above and beyond.” Treating people with different needs and families who might need an extra hand with human dignity, as if helping an upset teen out of the restaurant is no different from fetching an extra fork, is something to which all people should aspire.
“If people understand then incidents like that won’t be a big deal anymore, it’s just life,” the mother said in her interview. Yet that manager’s behavior isn’t why we’re featuring this story about California Pizza Kitchen. Nope.
As we encourage people to do when they have very bad or very good experiences, she wrote about the visit on her blog. Someone at the restaurant saw it, and they were delighted with her writeup (and the priceless good publicity.) They reached out to the family and offered a $5,000 donation to the charity of their choice.
They decided to give back to other children with autism, and donated a therapy garden to the school he attends.
Restaurant pays forward manager’s act of kindness [WXIA] (WARNING: AUTO-PLAY VIEO)
by Laura Northrup via Consumerist
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