The mother of an autistic boy said the family’s day out in Eastbourne was ‘spoilt’ after they were asked to leave a town centre restaurant because her son was noisy.
Ami Fisher had met with relatives living in the town to enjoy a day out at Eastbourne Extreme.
The 44-year-old, who was also with partner Martin Read and their sons Sydney, four, and baby boy Stanley, decided to finish off the day with a trip to Tres Amigos restaurant in Terminus Road. But she said the family was left ‘gobsmacked’ by the way they were treated. However, the restaurant’s owner has disputed some of her account.
She said, “My son Sydney has autism and is non-verbal.
“He can get a bit anxious about places. He was making a noise which was quite usual and he was pinching me and my partner and he was being loud.”
The Worthing resident, who said the restaurant was empty – part of the reason they decided to dine there, told the Herald that within five minutes of arriving a waitress asked them to leave.
She added, “We were looking at the menus and the waitress said, ‘I’m embarrassed and I know he is a child but our customers will not come in with him behaving like that’. She said a couple of customers had been looking at the menu outside and had walked off.
“We’ve never been asked to leave anywhere before. As a general rule we can calm him down with a bit of patience but there was no option to do that and we were asked to leave, we were gobsmacked to be honest.”
She said the family left without paying for the drinks and decided to head back to Worthing rather than go anywhere else to eat.
“We come to Eastbourne a lot, like the town and have been to the restaurant before,” said Ami.
“It’s just a shame as it spoilt what had been a lovely day.”
Tres Amigos owner Karim El-Guechi said staff were not informed at any point during the family’s visit that Sydney had autism.
“The family came in and their son was very noisy and it was for a long time,” said the restaurateur.
“We offered them a drink and waited for them to order their food but the child was crying and screaming. The waitress approached them and asked them if they could control the child. They were not asked to leave but asked to control their child.”
The businessman, who has a nephew with autism, said the restaurant welcomed everybody, including families. He said, “They were approached in a nice manner and she took it personally.”