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Restaurant Defends Hiring Autistic Waiter After Receiving Complaints From Customers

"We do not discriminate!" the owners writes on Facebook.

Facebook/Grenache

A restaurant in the United Kingdom is getting some love this week, after defending a staff member on social media. According to the Independent, Mike Jennings and his partner Karen, owners of Manchester's Grenache Restaurant, posted a message to the eatery's Facebook page on Thursday after receiving several negative comments from customers about an autistic waiter.

The owners write that after an incident that occurred on Wednesday, they felt the need "get our point across" about providing equal opportunities for employment:

Today was spent rebuilding the confidence of one of our team after being disrespected and socially discriminated by a table dining with us last night.

‘What is wrong with him?' and ‘Why would you give him a job?' they asked...

Here at Grenache, we employ staff based on experience, knowledge and passion for the job.... NOT the colour of their skin, or the way they look, how many tattoos they have, their dress size, religious beliefs or illness. We do not discriminate!

If you DO.... Then please do not book a table at Grenache. You do not deserve our time, effort or RESPECT!

Thoughts on an incident which occurred last night....Totally unacceptable.Strongly worded but we need to get our point across.#equalopportunities

Posted by Grenache Restaurant on Thursday, March 3, 2016

The post has since received several thousand likes and shares. Jennings tells the Manchester Evening News, that the waiter Andy Foster joined the restaurant three weeks ago in order to help care for his mother who's diagnosed with Alzheimer's. "I've been in this situation a few times in the past on a reasonably regular basis and I've always felt that it was my fault and I needed to apologize. And with Karen's and Mike's support they have shown me that that is not the case. I shouldn't be treated different to any other member of staff," Foster says.

"In our eyes nobody should be discriminated in any industry and we feel that sometimes you're served by people and you have no idea anything about that person," Jennings says. "You shouldn't have the right to judge that person or treat them any differently."

Grenache's stance is a refreshing in comparison to other some other restaurant employment situations. In November, J&J Cafeteria in South Carolina was sued by a mentally disabled worker who accused the owners forcing him to work 120 hours per week for 50 cents an hour. The staff member further claimed that he was subjected to deplorable physical and mental abuse.

Watch the full Manchester Evening News report below:

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