Emma Duke update: Toddler asked to leave Panera over noisy shoes

SAVANNAH, GA - Restaurant company Panera bread is apologizing after an employee asked a little girl to remove her squeaky shoes because they were bothering a customer.

The two-year-old's mother says her daughter has a developmental disorder and needed the orthopedic shoes to walk.

Emma Duke's family is grateful that they can finally put all of this behind them.

"It was an unfortunate thing that happened and it's been upsetting our family for the past week and i believe it's been upsetting them as well."

They were Panera regulars until this all happened but they finally returned when franchise officials wanted to apologize.

"They formally apologized to Emma for saying something about her shoes."

Emma just learned to walk with the help of these orthopedic shoes. And her mother says Panera officials told her the employee that made the comment was new on the job.

"I think this is something she didn't quite know how to handle with having customers complain about it."

And she says not only are they apologizing but they want to throw a fundraiser for Emma to help with her medical bills.

"They are very for children -- they want to help children with disabilities and this was just something that happened in their café and they are not proud of it."
Panera released a statement saying- they do not tolerate discrimination of any kind.

As for the employee who made the comment- the company says all the employees at that savannah location will receive updated and ongoing customer relations training.

Print this article Back to Top