After a customer complained about an employee with autism, the owner of a Greenville Pizza Inn put up a sign on the front door of the restaurant that read – “We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and hire ALL of God’s children! 😊 – The Inn Team”.
Amanda Cartagine says that 63 percent of the kitchen staff at her restaurant on Woodruff Road have special needs and she goes above and beyond to make them feel like a part of the team, regardless of their limitations.
“If you have the patience to let them take their time and learn at their pace, when the light bulb comes on, they are unstoppable,” she told WYFF.
Amanda says that all her employees come to work with smiles and have amazing work ethics in all that they are required to do, be it serving pizza or washing the dishes.
One Sunday, a customer complained about the service he was receiving. According to Amanda, the gentleman asked an employee who has autism to refill the lettuce bowl.
“My manager explained to him the situation privately, ‘That’s not his job. We’ve trained him to do this and there are special circumstances,’ and the customer was still not happy”, Amanda explained.
She said that the man was rude and he suggested that the restaurant put a sign on the door to make all customers aware of this situation before they entered inside.
“These are like my kids, and it made me angry. I wanted to do something that was not rude, but got my point across,” she said.
Thus Amanda was determined to put a sign up that read – “We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and hire all of God’s children.”
“If he is not OK with that, then I’m OK with him not coming back,” said Amanda. “That’s a dollar that I don’t need.”
Ryan, has Down syndrome. He started working at Pizza Inn in the summer.
“He loved the first paycheck,” said Mosley, Ryan’s mother. “He loved the fact that he has money in the bank and he can actually go buy his favorite video game.”
“We parents with special needs (children) are always faced with breaking down barriers, stigmas, teaching other people that our children are more like them, than different,” said Mosley.
She hopes that the sign encourages people to be more open-minded and treat all of God’s children equally.