The restaurant owner responded to a customer who claimed a naked toddler "bent over to show me its butthole" while she was eating her meal.
If your weekend was anything like mine, you couldn't go into a single restaurant without someone bringing up #buttholegate. The whole thing exploded on Friday—TGIF!—after Jezebel posted the story of Chelsea Bartley, a woman who left a two-star Google review of her favorite vegan joint because the owner's kid allegedly "bent over to show [her] its butthole."
Here's a screenshot of the review:
Yikes! And it gets even worse. Because over on the Imagine Vegan Facebook page—which has since been deleted—restaurant owner Kristie Jeffrey decided to defend her kid's behavior and threatened to start calling out the names of people who leave her bad reviews. "You will no longer be allowed to come and dine at Imagine," she wrote, according to Jezebel. "Especially when you lie about our babies. We do not need or want your business. For anyone who reads this and is instantly scared this might affect our business, I cannot begin to tell you how much we do not care. Haters are not welcome at Imagine!!!!"
Whoa. I probably would have gone with a simple "customer is always right" kind of apology here, but hey, that's just me. I do understand where Kristie is coming from, though. Because as a writer, I've had my fair share of online haters, and I know how difficult it can be to stay silent while you watch them drag your name through the mud. But showing up in the comments section to try to defend yourself will only fuel that fire. And yes, I am speaking from experience here.
Then again, the cafe's website does state that the Jeffreys opened Imagine in the first place in order to give families an affordable place to bring their little ones—a place where children can act like children.
"Please try to understand that we are a family owned and operated community," the site reads. "We are not a cookie cut, corporate business. Thus your experience may vary from visit to visit... Sometimes there may be children running around your table, singing very loudly... So please leave your expectations at the door.''
Interesting, though I think it's safe to say that some expectations—like that of not having to view a child's butthole while eating your meal—should be a given. Look, I totally get that the Jeffreys are in the middle of potty training their kid and sometimes leave her diaper off. I did that too. Only it was in the privacy of my own home, not in my place of business.
"This was a very rare incident," Kristy's husband Adam explained to Commerical Appeal. "It's not allowed. It's not something that we do. We don't just say, 'Hey, naked baby running around the restaurant.' That's ridiculous. But it happened. But no one said anything to us. No one said, 'This has disturbed us. Is this something you do on a regular basis?' They just wrote a bad review. And for us that feels like drama."
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He's not wrong. So what do you think? Let us know in the comments!
Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Instagram and Twitter.