An IHOP restaurant in Missouri is in hot water after writing the N-word to describe a black customer on her receipt, then trying to rectify the situation by giving her a $10 gift card.
The incident took place back in April in a Grandview location of the pancake restaurant. Maya Thomas said she picked up a take-out order and saw that the receipt used the N-word to describe her, the New York Post reported.
The 19-year-old Thomas was distraught and later showed the receipt to her mother, who grew angry about it as well. But when Thomas called the chain to complain about the racial slur, IHOP’s answer made her even angrier.
A few days after the complaint, Maya Thomas got a letter in the mail from IHOP containing a $10 gift card.
“I think that’s really what made her mad,” her mother said (via the New York Post).
“Of all the things you could call someone, you call them that. And then the way you deal with it is by giving them 10 dollars?”
An IHOP representative noted that the server who wrote on the receipt is also black, and IHOP president Darren Rebelez told The Kansas City Star that they took immediate action to rectify the situation once they learned about it.
“The franchisee, who owns and operates this restaurant, once made aware of the incident, terminated the employee in question and immediately contacted the guest to apologize,” Rebelez said.
“For 60 years, IHOP and our franchisees have strived to create a warm and hospitable dining experience for all guests, and we are currently working with the franchisee to ensure all possible steps are taken to deliver on that promise.”
The girl’s mother described Maya as “very timid and very shy” and said she did not even tell anyone about the receipt for several days for fear that they would “make a fuss” about it, the Kansas City Star reported. But after Maya received the $10 gift card as an apology, her feelings changed.
The racially charged IHOP receipt came amid a series of other high-profile racial incidents in companies. Last month, a pair of black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks location for loitering while they were waiting for an acquaintance to arrive, leading the chain to announce it would be closing all locations for an afternoon in May to teach racial sensitivity.
In March, a patron in a Hooters restaurant spit on a black child and kicked the boy, then told police, “It’s OK, I’m a fireman” when they arrived to arrest him.
The racially charged IHOP receipt is still weighing on Maya Thomas, her mother told the Kansas City Star. She said even bringing up the incident around the 19-year-old is extremely upsetting to her.