Earlier this morning, YWN posted a story regarding a restaurant in Belgium which threw a man out because he was wearing a Yarmulka. A reader of YWN wrote an email to the restaurant to voice his outrage – and received a response. He was kind enough to share his letter AND the response he received from the restaurant.
I am writing to you to express my outrage at the way your staff have treated a customer by the name of Marcel Kalmann. You will be aware that you have a moral and ethical duty to treat each and every customer, client or supplier with an equal amount of courtesy.
It is clear that you decided to go against the law and exclude Prof Kalmann from your premises on racial grounds. It is the intention of both the Jewish community in Europe and the USA to file a formal complaint to the Belgian authorities at the highest level.
In the mean time I would invite you to set the record straight for all future Jewish customers who may want to visit your establishments, wherever they are located.
I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
(Name removed by YWN)
RESPONSE FROM RESTURANT [AS WRITTEN]:
Normally we decided not to respond to all the hate-mail we get becouse 90 % of them are anonymous. As your mail is undersigned I would to answer.
It is true Mr Kalmann visited our restaurant, and it is also true there has been an incident between mr Kalmann and one of the waitors. This incident was base don a discussion about the price of his coffee.
This can be checked in the police-files. It was not at all a racist incident.
In our restaurants we employ over one hundred people. 40 % of them are not Belgian, are not catholic, do not have the same color of skin as we do, some of them do not even speak or understand our language (Flemish) and we have no problem with this. The biggest part of our clients are tourists which means they have a different nationality, different religions, different colors of skins, speak different languages, … and we have no problem with this.
We always tell our staff to respect all our clients, rich or poor, white or black, catholic or muslim or jew or … and we never had any problems of this kind. We also expect our clients to show some respect for our staff who works very hard. Unfortunately we sometimes have clients with a different opinion in this matter, but we always try to remain calm and if there sometimes is a discussion we try to solve the problem by speaking to the persons. Very often we find out there is no real problem but only some misunderstanding because of the peoples different habbits and problem is solved. We never got the occasion to speak to mr Kalmann to try to defend ourselves or to solve the problem because he went directly to the police.
I can assure you we regret this. I have read on the site of ‘joods actueel’ that the waitor told if mr Kalmann want this he would like to appoligise to him. Why doesn’t he never got the occasion to do this? It looks to us somebody needed a reason to create a problem and so they did. Really grown up people should try to solve a problem (if there is one) by having a good conversation.
I hope this misunderstanding is solved quick and in a correct way.
All the staff and direction of restaurant ‘Le Panier d’Or’