Olive Garden Manager Fired After Complying With Customer's Racist Request

Illustration for article titled Olive Garden Manager Fired After Complying With Customers Racist Request
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Olive Garden is, for the most part, a respectable establishment. It’s a decent first date option if you’re young or broke. It’s a great place to treat coworkers or families who really, really love breadsticks or have the gastrointestinal fortitude to eat pasta for two to three hours.

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But for one pair of white diners at an Olive Garden in Evansville, Ind. this past weekend, whatever was on the restaurant’s menu, they insisted it be served by a white person.

The manager who received the racist request complied, and after another customer and a hostess wrote about the incident on social media, Olive Garden says that manager is now out of a job.

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“We have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind, and the manager involved no longer works for our company,” an Olive Garden spokesperson told TODAY earlier this week.

The incident was first publicized by customer Maxwell Robbins, who posted about it on Facebook. Robbins said the white guests refused service from a “colored” server and asked to speak to a manager.

“The manager without hesitation ensures that they will not receive service from a person of color. That couple should’ve been refused service for even asking something like that,” Robbins said.

Robbins, who was with his family at the time, said he didn’t directly address the white customers because he didn’t want to cause a scene, but felt the need to speak out about what he saw.

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After his post, a black hostess who was berated by the white couple in question, 16-year-old Amira Donahue, came forward about her experience at the restaurant that day.

According to Newsweek, a woman asked for hot water, which Amira brought to the table. The customer immediately took issue with Amira, requesting “a server who wasn’t black,” the hostess said.

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As Today quotes in a now-deleted Facebook post, Amira wrote:

“Racism is still prevalent in 2020! After years of experiencing micro aggressions and attitudes simply because of my color; I never thought I would be publicly embarrassed like I was yesterday. To be told that ‘i should work at a strip club instead’ was over the top. People don’t understand we’re not only children, but humans with feelings regardless of color,” Donahue wrote on her own Facebook page.

Donahue added that the white female customer said “awful things” about her and asked if she was even from the U.S.

... The hostess continued, “When she was sat she asked for a white server, then ate half her food & asked for a refund! She should’ve been kicked out ASAP. But I guess the racist customer is more valuable than your black employees that were left in tears.”

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The incident is reminiscent of another racist debacle at a Buffalo Wild Wings near Chicago last year. There, staff members asked a group of black customers to move tables because a white customer didn’t want to sit near them. That staff was eventually fired as well.

According to Amira, the couple continued to talk about her to one of her co-workers, accusing her of not being “family friendly.” She also expressed disappointment at not being supported by management staff at the restaurant. Because let’s face it, you can’t control what kind of energy customers are going to bring in to your business on any given day. What you should be able to rely on is that your management staff will be competent, professional, and have your back.

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The Olive Garden conducted an investigation into the incident over the weekend, which concluded on Monday.

A worthwhile lesson to take from these stories if you’re a restaurant employee? Just say no to racist nonsense. And for racist folks who don’t want to be seated next to, served by, or encroached upon by the more melanated among us: there’s always DiGiorno, bitch.

Staff writer, The Root.

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DISCUSSION

detroitkidelo
kidelo *if you support racists, you're a racist too*

Do white people like this not realize that there are people that they cannot see handling the food they eat? And that those people and the wait staff are likely speaking to each other?

Here is a story.

Some 20+ years ago, someone that probably wasn’t me worked at a very large bookstore chain. Every weekday, this very nasty older couple would come in and buy a newspaper. They. were. rude. About everything! They could have had a subscription of the paper delivered to their home, but I think they got their day started by coming in and being mean to whomever was behind the counter at the bookstore. It was their caffeine.

The wife of the couple also shopped at the store at other times, and one evening she lost her mind at the counter. We had a display of Tarot cards there, as they were constantly being shoplifted. This woman started yelling about having these tools of the devil where she had to see them, where children could see them, etc etc. Cursed out the person who probably wasn’t me just for being there.

The next morning when she read her paper, she probably didn’t find a monstrous big green booger smeared in between its pages.

The moral of the story is: when you are depending on service, keep your racism on the DL. Oh wait, I forgot. Racism makes you stupid. Nevermind.