A waiter at a North Carolina bar was fired from his job for sharing a photo of a homophobic message left by a customer on a receipt. The firing has since been confirmed by the Hickory Tavern on Old Monroe Road, Indian Trail, Charlotte, NC, where the man worked.
Hickory Tavern has claimed that the reason behind the firing of the waiter was due to a violation of the bar’s confidentiality policy, which prohibits the posting of credit card receipts online, the Charlotte Observer reports. It has also claimed that they have since offered the waiter his job back after learning that he may not have fully understood the policy. Hickory Tavern is a popular chain of sports bar.
The homophobic message on the receipt from Nov. 30 read as follows.
“Our gay waiter made me wanna throw up my food! Ruined my experience tongt [sic]. Will not be back!”
The waiter had posted the photo of the recite online, with the message: “Please read the ignorance.” Although the original post has since been deleted and the identity of the waiter remains unknown, a different person, Lucia Stetson, who describes herself as a “theater friend” of the victim, has posted the photo on her Facebook, pleading people to stand for her friend and also to help him find a new job. Her post has since been shared over 2,200 times.
“Ok friends. A sweet young man was fired from his server job at Hickory Tavern after sharing a bigoted note left by a customer. Let’s help him find a new job. Time is of the essence,” the waiter’s friend captioned the picture on Facebook. “Lets [sic] help him find A new job where his sparkling personality and exceptional customer Service will be valued! Send me leads and I will help him network. Restaurants, retail, customer service. People love him!!! This is a theater friend – let’s stand with him!!! Please share!!!”
Stetson’s post has received overwhelmingly positive response, with many even offering the man a job via the comment section. Others have berated Hick’s Tavern for the response to the incident.
A spokesman for the restaurant chain spoke with People magazine regarding the incident and have, in the face of the backlash, declared that they stand with the waiter and against homophobia or discrimination of any sort.
“We strongly condemn the insults directed at one of our team members in remarks left by a patron on their credit card receipt. We value diversity and do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation or for any other reason.”
Having said this, the spokesman also added that the real reason the waiter was fired was different.
“We also value the privacy of our patrons, and posting of credit card receipts violates our confidentiality policy. Although the team member was initially terminated for violating this policy, after further discussions with the team member, we made the decision to offer his job back. We strive to strike the right balance between supporting our team members and protecting the private information of our guests.”