Morton's Steakhouse is coming under fire on social media for allegedly kicking out a cancer patient at the restaurant's Nashville location Friday night after he put on a hat at the table.
The patient, Robert Chambers, was attending a Christmas office party held by a Tennessee shopping channel where he hosts a show called The Coin Vault.
After dinner, Chambers felt cold and put a beanie on his head, which was apparently a violation of the restaurant's dress code.
"The chemo I had last gives me a cold sensitivity at the end of the day. It doesn't matter what I've done, there's a certain point." Chambers told NashvilleScene.com. "So I'm sitting there at the table, freezing and I put my toboggan on. We're two or three minutes away from walking out and the manager comes up behind me and says, 'Would you please take that off in the dining room.' I said, 'Sure.'"
The restaurant's dress code says nothing about hats. It only suggests men wear business attire or smart casual wear, such as a collared shirt and dress pants.
Other guests dining with Chambers said he tried explain his medical situation to the manager, who allegedly said that the gentleman should bring a doctor's note or call ahead so that he could be seated in a private dining area, Fox17.com reported.
After the incident, a few of the other diners wrote about the experience on Facebook and Yelp, claiming that the entire group was asked to leave, and that Morton's called the police, according to Newser.
Morton's national office tried to deal with the beef by posting the following on their Facebook page.
It didn't seem to help, as many people trolling the site expressed their outrage and posted photos of John Travolta and members of the Baltimore Ravens wearing hats inside of various Morton's restaurants.
Morton's hasn't officially commented on the incident since then, but Chambers told NashvilleScene.com that the company's COO did talk with him for about 30 minutes and promised the two managers at the Nashville restaurant would be apologizing and that the balance of the $2,500 dinner check would be donated to St. Jude.
UPDATE: Tim Whitlock, the Senior V.P. of Operations and the C.O.O. Morton's The Steakhouse has sent this statement about the incident to The Huffington Post.
"Our executive team has been in contact with Mr. Chambers who fully accepted our apology. There was a complete and total misunderstanding by our staff who had no idea that our guest had a medical condition. Our actions were uninformed and our intentions were not malicious. As a sign of our sincere apology and commitment to the community, we are donating on behalf of Mr. Chambers, $2,000.00 to the St. Jude’s Hospital. In addition, Morton's The Steakhouse will also partner with Mr. Chambers to underwrite a cancer fundraiser."