Olive Garden restaurant in Evansville, Indiana, fires one of their managers after discovering that they honored an allegedly racist request from a customer.
According to an employee and an observer, a white couple allegedly requested a non-black server and the manager agreed to their demand.
Amira Donahue, a hostess at the restaurant said the customer— a white woman— complained to a manager about her and other black hostess working at the restaurant.
Donahue told NBC News:
“She made comments about me to my co-workers concerning my race and saying that I should work at a strip club instead. She asked if I’m even black and if I am from here.”
Several nearby customers also overheard the conversation and protested against the manager’s decision on social media, which led the food chain to take action against the manager in question.
Maxwell Robbins, a customer who witnessed the entire ordeal, was eating at the restaurant with his wife and a friend when he witnessed the exchange between the manager and the couple.
Taking to Facebook, Robbins detailed the incident, saying he wanted to take a stand against the racism permitted at Olive Garden.
His post went viral and has since been shared over 2,000 times.
“A few white people come in a says [sic] that they refuse service from a ‘colored’ server and asks to speak with the manager.”
Robbins added that the manager appeared to have no issue with giving the “racist” customers what they wanted and that they acted “without hesitation.”
Both Donahue and Robbins condemned the manager’s handling of the incident.
Speaking to Today, Robbins said:
“I felt the need to post that on Facebook because I do not think anyone would have stood up for those girls. They would’ve continued to go to work some where they were not comfortable.”
“Amira (the hostess) was in tears and didn’t have anyone supporting her at that time so I felt like someone had to stand up for her.”
Olive Garden took quick action, and later released a statement saying that the manager involved was no longer working for them. They also assured the public that they have a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination.
Robbins later updated his Facebook post after Olive Garden responded, writing that he had spoken to someone in the company who appeared to be in “good spirits” with their employer.
The person acknowledged that the restaurant had responded swiftly and is taking measures to ensure such an incidence won’t happen again.