A Disney Springs restauranteur caused quite the kerfuffle this week. Chef Art Smith, of his very own Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’, was greeting guests in the dining room without the Disney-mandated facemask and patrons were a bit upset. Disney Springs has been enforcing the use of face masks on Guests ages 2 and up, which includes public areas, stores, and restaurants unless patrons are consuming food.
Chef Art Smith Issues Apology
Chef Art Smith was seen not wearing his mask in and around his restaurant as he greeted guests. Customers were a bit upset, after being spoken to (in person and via social media outreach) Chef took to Facebook for his official apology. Listed on his Disney Springs Restaurant page, it included a photo of him in front of the welcome sign, wearing the Homecomin’ chicken mask. Chef’s post reads:
“It has come to my attention that in my excitement to re-open Homecomin’ and my joy to see old friends, I dropped my guard when it came to wearing my mask on several occasions over the past five days. I am sorry. My Homecomin’ team is following strict protocols set by the CDC and Walt Disney World Resort. When I return to Disney Springs I will lead by example. We look forward to welcoming you to Homecomin’ real soon. I will be wearing my mask and you should too.”
It’s incredibly refreshing and encouraging to read the humility in the message and to see the desire to set things right. Putting forth a proper example is also what a leader does, and Chef’s new goal is a worthy one.
Lots of Chef’s fans weighed in on the apology, commenting with thanks, support, and appreciation for attempting to right the situation. Some of the Chef Art Smith fans even wanted to know where he got his mask! Answer? You can buy them in the lobby of the Disney Springs Restaurant!
Linda Herman Thanks Chef Art for owning up to the mistake. When I saw you without it I was thinking “not a good example”. Hopefully, more of us Floridians will take a step back and wear a mask to help protect all of us. Can’t wait for Thurs and our reservation.
Bethany Hedstrom Class act to own your mistake! It would’ve hard not to see your smile 😉
Guests have expressed grief and anger after seeing others not obeying the face mask rules set forth by Disney. MJH (@mjh31183) writes on May 21, 2020: “Holding Starbucks cup is the secret loophole.” But the social distancing enforcement team seems to be picking up some more slack in asking Disney Guests to wear their masks and comply with the Disney policies.
Disney has promised some mask-free relaxation zones in the Parks, and hopefully, Guests will be able to enjoy them for a short period of time. These will be areas for adults and kids alike to peel off the masks and take a literal breather before getting back to the fun.
Walt Disney World Senior Vice President of Operations Jim MacPhee referred to these spaces as “relaxation zones.” MacPhee did not give details about how many of these areas will be in each Disney World theme park, but it does seem that Guests will be able to get a periodic reprieve from their face coverings in the Florida heat.
What’s your favorite dish at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’? Hummingbird Cake? Mashed potatoes and the classic fried chicken? Leave us a comment below!