HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Are you making a specialty food? Get great advice

Morton's Employees Make Major Faux Pas

sandiasingh Dec 18, 2013 07:50 AM

This is sad and narrow-minded. These employees need to be taught that one rule does not necessarily apply to all.


  1. hal2010 Dec 28, 2013 09:43 PM

    Doesn't this violate any ADA rules? In Ontario we're rolling out a new set of regulations for people with disabilities and the first round requires all employees to be trained in customer service for disabled individuals.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hal2010
      PHREDDY Dec 29, 2013 07:51 AM

      Someone with a "disability" has a permanent change . Other illnesses, might be cured and therefore not a disability, such as was this case. I only wish Mr. Chambers well, and a speedy recovery from his illness.
      I stopped eating at Mortons' years ago, because of their $8 baked potato.

    2. s
      Sharuf Dec 27, 2013 12:49 AM

      If I were a man and felt I needed to cover my head indoors, I would wear a beret.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Sharuf
        bagelman01 Dec 27, 2013 02:23 AM

        and since this is about food it would have to be Raspberry

        1. re: bagelman01
          kattyeyes Dec 27, 2013 04:38 AM

          FTW! The kind you find in a secondhand store! ;)

          1. re: kattyeyes
            Davwud Dec 27, 2013 05:21 AM

            Let's just hope it isn't warm.


            1. re: Davwud
              kattyeyes Dec 27, 2013 05:44 AM

              I was COMPLETELY on the same page with you, Davwud.

      2. f
        fourunder Dec 20, 2013 05:18 PM

        Mr Chambers has accepted an apology from the higher ups from Morton's....

        The story is over

        1. g
          GH1618 Dec 20, 2013 08:18 AM

          As a hat wearer myself, my opinion is that gentlemen do not wear a hat indoors, especially at dinner. Baldness is not a valid reason to wear a hat indoors — I don't have much hair myself and wouldn't think of doing it. A restaurant doesn't need a written rule to expect men to behave like gentlemen.

          On the other hand, this person was a cancer patient. Is that a medical reason to need a hat indoors? I don't know, but if it is, a politely delivered explanation should suffice. It is ridiculous to demand a note from a doctor as if he were a schoolchild. Gentlemen do not assume other gentlemen are liars without evidence.

          Not having been there, I can't judge, but the crux of the matter is how the thing was handled. Did the diner explain that he had a medical condition and politely ask the manager to make an exception for him, or did he have an attitude about it? I have seen people who think that a disability or illness grants a license for bad behavior. I don't think so.

          1. b
            beevod Dec 20, 2013 07:58 AM

            They're probably neither narrow-minded nor unaware of the rules. Such a fuss over, basically, nothing.

            1. Midknight Dec 20, 2013 07:08 AM

              I'm sorry, but I believe that Morton's was in the right. Read the articles comments, specifically those by "Andre Machado".
              He says it much more eloquently than I can, but in a nut shell, he chose to go to Morton's. Why should he be allowed to flaunt and ignore the established rules that Morton's has set out for everyone just because he was ill and cold? I'm I were bald, should I be allowed to ignore the rules because I happened to be cold?
              They didn't discriminate against him because he had cancer. They didn't call the police because he had cancer. They called the police because he was being difficult and then wouldn't leave.
              A large bill also doesn't allow him special treatment.

              13 Replies
              1. re: Midknight
                badrockandroll Dec 20, 2013 07:52 AM

                Rules at a restaurant concerning dress code are not the same as rules at a restaurant concerning health and safety, or rules in the military concerning dress code. Being bald and cold because you are battling cancer and weakened by chemo is not the same as being cold because you are bald. Morton's website raves about its hospitality and recommends a certain type of dress for the comfort of its guests. It does not forbid anything. It does not mention hats but it does indicate that sandals and t-shirts are not favoured.

                1. re: Midknight
                  Davwud Dec 20, 2013 08:34 AM

                  So no turbans or yamikas at Mortons??


                  1. re: Davwud
                    sedimental Dec 20, 2013 08:57 AM

                    I suppose they make exceptions for religious sensibilities, but I wonder if they do for cultural?

                    What if a woman wears a suit and tie? What if a man shows up in a dress? Does each manager just make their own judgement call?

                    1. re: sedimental
                      Leonardo Dec 27, 2013 07:01 AM

                      Religion is an aspect of culture

                    2. re: Davwud
                      BiscuitBoy Dec 20, 2013 09:13 AM


                      Keffiyeh, shemagh, whatever...the manager wouldn't have had the cajones to ask removal. As Americans, we need to step up for OUR rights.

                      1. re: BiscuitBoy
                        bagelman01 Dec 27, 2013 02:24 AM

                        it doesn't matter how you spell it. If a Jew is religously observant and regularly wears a yarmulke he wouldn't be dining at a non-kosher steakhouse such as Morton's

                        1. re: bagelman01
                          BiscuitBoy Dec 27, 2013 06:11 AM


                          1. re: BiscuitBoy
                            BiscuitBoy Dec 27, 2013 06:13 AM

                            Oops, my "hip-ness" just kicked in - "True dat"

                            1. re: BiscuitBoy
                              kattyeyes Dec 27, 2013 06:21 AM

                              U so street...

                          2. re: bagelman01
                            chicgail Dec 30, 2013 10:49 AM

                            <<If a Jew is religously observant and regularly wears a yarmulke he wouldn't be dining at a non-kosher steakhouse>>

                            Not necessarily so. Jewish law is very actively and often loosely interpreted by its observants. There are Jews who eat Kosher - only at home - or who would want to be part of the dinner (it was a company event) and order a salad and not worry about it.

                            When are we going to start respecting each other's differences as much as we react to them.

                        2. re: Davwud
                          boogiebaby Dec 20, 2013 05:10 PM

                          Turbans and yarmulkas are not hats. They are not an optional accessory for people of those faiths -- they are considered mandatory religious articles.

                          From the article, it seems that Morton's told him he either needed a doctor's note or that he needed to be seated away from the other diners. The article did not say that he told them he was a cancer patient. It says the staff was uninformed that he was a chemo patient. It sounds like he and his coworkers insisted he be allowed to wear the hat, without divulging the reason. I think if he had said "hey, I know that's your policy, but I'm a chemo patient and I get really cold", that things may have turned out a bit differently.

                        3. re: Midknight
                          Just Visiting Dec 27, 2013 04:47 AM

                          Bullognie. We went to a local Morton's last year, not by choice. We called ahead to ask about a dress code. They said jacket-tie for men. My husband grumbled and fussed. We get there and he is one of only two men wearing a jacket and tie. A man at the next table was actually wearing a flannel shirt and jeans.

                          Plus the food sucked beyond belief.

                          1. re: Midknight
                            chowser Dec 28, 2013 04:37 PM

                            Sadly, I did read Andre's comments. Eloquent BS. An establishment can set any rules they want and they can stick by their beliefs. If they don't want to show compassion, that's their right but then they have to live by the response to it. It's their right to be cold hearted jerks, it's everyone else's right to choose not to support that. If you want to be that company whose rules overtake common decency, don't whine about the consequences.

                            I have to say, I had a good laugh with Andre's analogy about lying down in the middle of the field during a baseball game because you're tired. Yeah, that's the same thing as wearing a hat in a restaurant. Eloquent...

                          2. s
                            sub_english Dec 18, 2013 06:52 PM

                            Basic human decency aside, I don't understand how any restaurant manager can have such a terrible understanding of capitalism. Who throws out a member of a large party who has run up a $2,000 check? Don't you want them to come BACK? Don't you want the individuals in the party to come back for anniversaries and things? Why do you hate money?

                            It sounds like Mr. Chambers has been a truly class-act about the event.

                            1. C. Hamster Dec 18, 2013 06:38 PM

                              So they tell him he has to have a doctors note (like a. 6 year old) to wear a hat for medical reasons .....

                              But later claim that during the incident they had no knowledge of the man's medical condition ?

                              I'm pretty sure they knew the guy 's medical status .

                              Shame on you Morton's. You're not all that.

                              1. c oliver Dec 18, 2013 06:16 PM

                                I worked for 40 years and generally found that far too few people have common sense.

                                1. k
                                  kcshigekawa Dec 18, 2013 04:00 PM

                                  I just went to the Morton's website to look up their dress code. They say "business casual", and they say nothing whatsoever about hats...

                                  Show Hidden Posts