NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – Morton's The Steakhouse, a high-end restaurant chain, is responding after a firestorm of complaints on social media about how it treated a cancer patient dining at its Nashville location over the weekend.
A man undergoing chemotherapy treatments says he was asked to take off his hat because it violated the restaurant's dress code.
Robert Chambers says he put on a beanie to keep him warm -- combating the side effects of his chemotherapy treatments. Chambers says a waitress then told him to take off the hat because it was against dress code.
After explaining that Chambers had cancer, a manager came over and asked to see a doctor's note before he could put the hat back on.
Chambers says the situation went downhill from there, with their entire party eventually asked to leave the restaurant.
After one of the people in Chambers' party posted her account of what happened to Facebook, the story went viral, with people criticizing Morton's actions.
Monday, Chambers responded to the social media firestorm.
"Thank you to everyone's overwhelming show of support," he posted. "It was not my intention to foster ill will... I would like to ask that the outcome of this situation simply be empathy toward others. I have been in treatment for 10 months fighting for my life. I don't need or want another battle... I would like something positive to come from this. Perhaps, Morton's could examine their policies so that no one else would have this occur."
A manager who answered the phone at Morton's Nashville location this afternoon said Chambers' group was asked to leave because one of the members of the party insulted a restaurant employee.
Chambers says a corporate executive with Morton's based in Chicago has since apologized to him about the Friday incident.
Morton's has agreed to donate $2,000 to St. Judes Childrens Hospital, and work with Chambers to underwrite a cancer fundraiser.
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