In an interesting turn of events, there is a restaurant in Philadelphia which placed a sign up saying that when ordering food, the customer must speak English. The restaurant, owned by the grandson of Italian immigrants, says that his sign is a symbol of freedom of speech. While this is true, a civil rights watch dog group says it is in direct violation of Philadelphia’s Fair Practices Ordinance, which states businesses are banned from discriminating customers on the basis of nationality or ethnicity. If the restaurant does not remove their sign, they will be forced to pay a three hundred dollar fine.
Fact of the Matter
The fact of the matter on this situation is that it is rather ironic how people complain on these things. In certain communities, the local Chinese, Japanese, or Spanish restaurant might only speak their languages since the majority of people who come there are those particular ethnicities.
So is it too much for a business owner to make sure their employees can understand the order that they are being given? No. More importantly, should the customer know that when they give their order, the person taking it understands English properly and will make sure the order is taken correctly? You better believe it. I could not tell you the number of times where I went to Wendy’s and the Spanish ladies who take the orders have screwed up.
It is really simple to think about: if you are going to work in the public at a public location, you should know the language of the people.