Thursday, January 24, 2008

Steak and Shake--Looks Like This Touched A Nerve

Yesterday, I just wanted a shake from Steak 'n Shake and was turned away. Today, I'm seeing how amazing the internet is:

Diversity, Inc.: Second Class Citizen

Emoms At Home: Standing up for a Friend and Fellow Blogger

The Consumerist: Steak 'n Shake Manager Denies Service

Henry Kisor: Making a Fuss

Laurel Papworth, Social Networks: Australia Event: Social Networks and P.R.
The Strategy Guy: Being Stupid

Joliet Herald News: Local Activist Sends Loud, Clear Message

Joliet Herald News: Steak 'n Shake Part Two

Business and Blogging: Crisis Case Study

Google Finance: The Steak 'n Shake Company

Slacker Manager: Steak 'n Shake, How Can Management Overcome This?

Deaf Pagan Crossroads: Why Can't I Get My Milkshake?

Just Thinkin': Turned Away at the Drive Thru for Being Deaf

Do It Myself Blog: Steak 'n Shake Questions Answered

Megite Business News: Steak 'n Shake Manager Denies Service to Deaf Mother

Emoms at Home: Sometimes Its Just About Mommies

The Hearing Exchange: Deaf Mom Shakes Up Steak 'n Shake

The Daily Herald: Woman Cites Hearing Problem in Dispute with Steak 'n Shake

WTMJ 620, Wagner on the Web: Maybe They Can Hear Her Now?

Bad American: Customer Service Horror Stories

So Good: Steak 'n Shake Manager Under Fire

Carpe Factum: Diversity or Adversity

Jim's Blog: Steak 'n Shake Denies Service

Spin Thicket: PR Nightmares

Kirkogitation: Controversial Milkshakes

My Wooden Spoon: Boycott Steak and Shake

A Cowboy's Wife: Boycott Steak and Shake

The Marketing Eggspert: What Steak and Shake Will Do For Its Customers

Growing Up With a Disability: Why We Need the ADA

Growing Up With a Disability: Steak 'n Shake Apology

Do It Myself Blog: Deaf Mom Denied Service

Is That Even Legal: Falling On Deaf Ears

Accessible Everything: Inaccessible Milkshakes

Deep Muck Big Rake: But The Emperor Has Nothing On At All

The Daily Grind: Outrageous

Jamie Berke, Two of the Hottest Things This Week

Do It Myself Blog: Deaf Mom Continues her Fight for a Milkshake

Slinkerwink: Fighting Back Against Discrimination

LeahLefler: Things That Really, Really Make Your Blood Boil

A Simple Desultory Dangling Conversation: How NOT to Do Customer Service

Chat With Bryen: Steak 'n Shake Denies Deaf Access

Palms to Pines: Would You Like Some Discrimination With That?

An American Mom in Tucsany: This One's for the Ladies

Ethan's World: Some Good, Some Bad

On the Wire: Steak 'n Shake Woes Loom

Cheryl Beryl: People Aren't Reasonable

Do It Myself Blog: FOX Airs Deaf Mom's Fight for a Milkshake

Single Work At Home Mom: Fast Food Restaurant Refuses Service to Deaf Woman

Berke Outspoken: Possible Solutions to Denied Milkshakes?

Laurie's Dance with Sound: Hearing Impaired and CI News

Adversity University Blog: End of the Week Gratitude Theme #12

Chronicles of a Bionic Woman: Karen, the amazon woman!

Lolypup: Civil Rights and a Milkshake

Sam Spritzer's Web Site: Beware of Hearing Impaired, Serve at your Own Risk

Deaf Weekly: Steak 'N Shake Flap Sparks Internet Storm

On the Wire: Steak 'n Shake Officials Meet with Customer

Starked San Francisco: Deaf Mother Denied Service at Steak 'n Shake

Jim's Thoughts: Ignorance

My Chronic Life: Steak 'n Shake Disgrace

Terrible Palsy: It's That Time of the Month

Ima On (and off) the Bima: Things That Make Me Crazy

Bad Cripple: Why the ADA is Needed

Growing Up With a Disability: Update on the Steak 'n Shake Discrimination

Hippie Spelunker: Steak 'n Shake Commits a Heinous Injustice

Hippie Spelunker: Steak 'n Shake Update

Hippie Spelunker: Serving Americans with Disabilities

Planet of the Blind: How Many Fingers Am I Holding Up?

I Am Not a Hamster: Steak 'n Shake Employee Shoots Company in the Foot

The Net-Savvy Executive: Why Companies Need to be Listening to Blogs

Happy Family At Home: I Love This!

I'm Adopting a Deaf Child with Ushers: A Glimpse of the Future?

Granfallon Books: Customer Service

Dispatch from the Third World: Steak 'n Shake Embarasses a Deaf Customer
Eternal Sunshine of an Empty Mind: I Can't Believe the Nerve of Some People!

Butterfly Like Me, Deaf: Drive Thru Service Reasons

Mulberry Summer: Unacceptable

Rolling Grains: Where ADA Compliance Was Taken off the Menu

Our Campaigns: Steak 'n Shake Denies Service

Today's Cool News: Even I Can't Hear What They're Saying

Waving with My Deaf Hands: I'm Proud of Karen, It's my Turn to Share

Fox News Blogs: Steak 'n Shake Violates the ADA

A Cowboy's Wife: Steak 'n Shake Follow-up & Comment Response

Erin's Mother: Not Giving Them One More Penny

Rachel's World: An Accessible World?

The Deaf Sherlock: Deaf Mom Power!

Random Digest: Steak 'n Shake Manager Denies Drive Thru Service

Andrea's Acadia Weblog: Service DENIED

Last night, shortly after calling the corporate headquarters via relay, an employee from their Human Resources division called me. She sent me an email apologizing for the incident. She called again this morning to see if we could set up a meeting with the manager in question and discuss the issue. They agreed to provide an interpreter for this meeting.

Stay tuned.


Michelle said...

Oh! Love it, I'm glad they are listening to you now! You get 'em, honey!!

David said...

I'm glad to hear they are responding to you.

Unknown said...

Hi Karen,

You can add me to the list of supporters too, I just added an article on my blog called Inaccessible Milkshakes:

A Deaf Pundit said...

*smiles* that's the power of the internet! Go girl!

Anonymous said...

Oh, it's cool. I'm glad to hear it.

Wendy Piersall said...

So let me get this straight. The store manager completely breaks the law, inexcusably disses you, and now you're supposed to take valuable time out of your day to go meet with them and sort out this issue?

Seriously, I wouldn't go without a lawyer. Not that you have to sue them, but to make sure your a$$ is covered in this meeting. SERIOUSLY. (IF you decide to go at all!!)

Karen Putz said...

Thanks for the support!

Karen Putz said...

I know, it's the ADA Warrior in me that is accepting this meeting. If I can make an impact on a corporation on a national level, then I'm all for it.

Remember, my kiddo saw the whole thing and now he gets to see his Mom in action-- a powerful life lesson.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever considered contacting the media about this?

Karen Putz said...


ABC and FOX news in Chicago are covering this.

Karen Putz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

If you don't take a lawyer, at the very least, bring a recording device. I'm not sure that a verbal apology is enough, are you? It would be nice to insist that Steak and Shake commit to ADA training from the corporate level... in writing. And signage that says, "If you have a hearing loss, please pull up to the window so we can serve you better." :)

mishkazena said...

That's great this unfortunate incident is receiving a lot of coverage!

Anonymous said...

WOW Karen! I just watched the news few minutes ago!! Hands waving in the air (clapping). You go girl!!!

Anonymous said...


Just saw you on Channel 7. Way to go! You are my heroine!

At first I had thought the mope who dissed you was just another clueless fast-food worker, but the MANAGER of the place? This does not speak well for Steak 'n Shake's corporate operation.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad everyone is rallying around you - that was entirely unacceptable! I wonder if we can see the clip from the news online somewhere... Please post them if you find them.

Unknown said...

Oh, I have added a few more posts in my blog about your situation and I even ask my readers to join me in boycotting with this title: "Boycott Message for A Deaf Mom Shares Her World" I even provide a Steak and Shake's "feedback" link to send a message.


Annette said...

Karen, way to go.
As the mom to a deaf CI wearing toddler, I am all to familiar with people who just don't get it.. like the lady in the kids room at the YMCA who insisted that Terran remove his ears while in the center" so they don't distract the other kids".....
My family supports your actions with the evil shake horder. lol

Annette said...

Karen, way to go.
As the mom to a deaf CI wearing toddler, I am all to familiar with people who just don't get it.. like the lady in the kids room at the YMCA who insisted that Terran remove his ears while in the center" so they don't distract the other kids".....
My family supports your actions with the evil shake horder. lol

Veralidaine said...

I mentioned this on your blog, too, but I posted a link elsewhere and another member of that forum said she saw this on TV last night! Were you on TV???

Unknown said...

awesome, go get em!

Megan said...

Hi Karen!
My name is Megan and I'm an interior design student in Savannah GA but from Chicago. I heard of your story and I can't believe the situation.

Also it's driving home a very important point from an interior design perspective-- at the moment we are learning all about designing universally; following standards of ADA--Just goes to show how if places were better designed they could accommodate the masses!

Go get em girl!

Jennifer said...

I mentioned your story on both of my blogs a couple of days ago...and have had several interesting comments. (((HUGS)))

Anonymous said...


I'm with you all the way! Hang in there - the best is yet to come. :)

You know how I always like to say that life is mysterious? Well, I think this unfortunate incident was supposed to happen and because of that, doors of opportunity will open up in ways you never before imagined would happen. Stay tuned and listen to your intuition. You are being guided.

Dan said...

I'm glad your getting so much support. The news segments are both very impressive. Way to go

william Peace said...

Add me to the list of bloggers that have commented at Bad Cripple. Ugh, when if ever will people with disabilities ever be respected? This incident and many others like it are the norm.

The Firm Believer said...

Good Morning,
I know this is a little bit different from your post but it does relate in the way of corporations never try to assist the deaf, they would go any length into assisting other disabled patrons but not the deaf. Why not? Probably it's complicated or it probably costs too much money. I went to an event in Chicago (I'm a chicago resident) called Lollapalooza and they've refused to allow us to be closer to the interpreter because we couldn't see them and the conduct of the interpreter was terrible, anywhere from drinking while interpreting, smoking while working, even to the point ignoring the person who's talking by turning their back against us and stops signing. I was able to post only a 10 minute clip on youtube and I was wondering if you would be willing to view the whole thing and put in your 2 cents.

email away at

Laurie said...


Thanks for your recent comment on my site. I was glad to support you. In fact, I think of you every time I approach a drive thru service! I have two pictures from different drive thru's that are hearing impaired friendly and will post them when I have a free moment! My bank recently installed a video screen and I can see myself or the teller and understand everything! Also, Starbucks in my town is very supportive, too, and has two HOH workers!

Keep up the good fight. . . you are making a difference!

Karen Putz said...

Thanks to everyone here for all the support. I look forward to positive changes as a result!