Restaurant calls kicking cancer patient out for wearing hat ’embarrassing mistake’
By Ryan Brennan
An Indiana woman, Rachel Bruno, found herself in a confusing scenario while she was out celebrating the end of her chemotherapy treatment. While in a local restaurant called Latitude 360, Bruno was asked to leave due to what she was wearing. The 33-year-old woman, who was meeting her family at the restaurant, was wearing a knitted cap over her head.
After she was told that the knitted cap was in violation of the restaurant’s dress code, she explained to them that she was wearing it to cover her bald head, since all of her hair had fallen out. The dress code, according to Black News, prohibits skullcaps, bandanas, brimless hats and stocking caps. She was then asked to leave the restaurant.
After the incident, Bruno posted her experience on Facebook, because she was so insulted. As a result, the post went viral and eventually gained coverage by the local news. In the post, she said that, “It was publicly humiliating because you feel like you don’t know who all is listening… I was embarrassed to be asked to leave because of a hat.”
Bruno’s sister, Alicia, also commented on the incident, according to Black News: “I was devastated. I was disappointed because at that point, my heart actually hurt for her. Because it’s not her fault that she’s had to deal with cancer a second time. When you try to go outside to have a few moments of enjoyment to try to feel better, and here you are turned away… It’s not fair.”
However, since the incident, Latitude 360 has apologized and admitted that the incident was an embarrassing mistake. An executive of the company called Bruno to personally apologize. After that, he then publicly apologized on the local news:
“Rachel, I wanted to reach out and sincerely apologize for the way you were treated the other night at our Indianapolis venue. It is unfortunate that our door greeters and managers decided to enforce our dress code under your current condition. They have been spoken to and they know now that in special circumstances like yours that the dress code can be interpreted as to allow special considerations. Please don’t judge our entire company on the actions of a few. We all make poor judgement calls from time to time in our life and a poor judgement call was made with you, Rachel.
“The president of our company and our graphic designer that lives three doors down from me in Jacksonville have both beat cancer and I realize what they went through. Our company was very supportive and sensitive to their needs and those of their families. Our company has supported many, many charitable organizations from cancer to autism to combat veterans. If there is anything I can do to make you feel better, don’t hesitate to call me.”