Brandi and Regina Felt Castellano, the restaurant owners who wanted to encourage a message of kindness
Photo courtesy of Regina Felt Castellano
Restaurant owners in Massachusetts took matters into their own hands by closing their establishment for a “day of kindness” after an increased amount of offensive behavior from customers.
Now, the restaurant is gaining national attention.
Brandi Felt Castellano and her spouse, Regina Felt Castellano, who are the owners of Apt Cape Cod restaurant, took to Facebook last week to mention that they would be closed for breakfast and wouldn’t be open until it was time to serve dinner at 5pm.
According to The New York Times, they made their decision last Thursday after a man belittled one of the “young employees” that told him that they couldn’t take his breakfast takeout order because they “hadn’t opened yet.”
“As many of our guests and patrons treat us with kindness and understanding, there have been an astronomical influx daily of those that do not, swearing at us, threatening to sue, arguing and yelling at my staff, making team members cry. This is an unacceptable way to treat any human,” the Castellanos wrote on Facebook.
Additionally, they also wrote that many of the staff members are “young,” and the job happens to be their “first job” or a “summer job to help them pay for college.”
“We have had to make adjustments due to the increase in business volume, size of [the] kitchen, product availability, and staffing availability...,” they continued.
Speaking to indy100, Regina Castellano further spoke on the reason for taking that day off for extra kindness.
“In the world that is supposed to change and evolve, the thought that the customer is always right has somehow given the people power to be unkind to other human beings. Why should anyone have to grin and bear verbal abuse just because of the job [they] have chosen or in any environment [?] There needs to be [a] change! Why waste energy on hurting other people?” she said.
She added: “Being kind, patient, and understanding; it involves much less energy. In[a] world already filled with so much hate, why add to the problem. As a small business owner, I refuse to let my staff be treated less than human and will continue to stand up for everyone in the service industry.“
And, unfortunately, many of the confrontations with customers started with food and beverage item shortages and menu alterations. Customers have also been annoyed by increased wait times because of short staff at establishments.
Apt Cape Cod’s post about giving workers the day off to recuperate after negative interactions with customers went viral, with numerous comments, shares and likes.
Supporters of the restaurant also sent positivity and offered to donate money to the employees.
On Wednesday, the Castellano’s made another post on Facebook about how much they “loved the idea” and would be “honoured” to continue with donations to give back to others.
“And if you [feel] the need to donate money, please visit our favorite nonprofit Family Table Collaborative...which provides food to families with food insecurities,” they wrote.