“She had this fleece blanket and she said ‘Do you have a cover for her?’ I said no and she said ‘Well here I brought one for you’ and I said that’s illegal for you to tell me that I have to cover up,” Bobee told KTAL.
Louisiana state law allows women to breastfeed in public, and it is considered discrimination to stop them from doing so.
Carroll’s husband, Caleb, ended up using the fleece blanket to make an enclosed space around their table, and Bobee resumed breastfeeding. The couple later contacted the district managers for their Buffalo Wild Wings location in Bossier City, who connected them to a corporate representative the next day.
Caleb said that they had a productive conversation.
“I think they were actually genuine and honest about, hey, we should look into a policy for this kind of stuff,” he said.
Buffalo Wild Wings’ parent company, JK&T Wings, Inc. & Subsidiaries, also emailed Bobee to apologize for the incident, explaining that they don’t frequently have breastfeeding mothers in their restaurant, and the “young” waiter was unsure of how to handle it.
“We are certainly going to take this opportunity to educate and prepare our Team Members throughout our entire system, in order to show discretion and sensitivity in these matters in the future,” Jean Lanfear, the company’s vice president of human resources, said in the email, according to KTAL.
The Carrolls emphasize that they aren’t speaking out about the incident to keep people from going to Buffalo Wild Wings — they just want companies to recognize that breastfeeding in public is entirely legal.
“It’s not about vindication, it’s about education,” Caleb said.
“We’re just going to be a bunch of moms enjoying our dinner and taking care of our babies,” she said. “We want breastfeeding to be normalized. It shouldn’t be sexualized. We want women to know their rights and we want the companies to know they can’t interfere with that.”