A manager has lost their job after they called the police on a group of around 40 Delta Sigma Theta sorority members, according to Cleveland19. The issue started when a woman was approached and asked if she was going to pay her bill. However, the woman reportedly did not have anything to eat at the Orange Village Bahama Breeze restaurant in Ohio. This led the manager to call the police, falsely stating that “about 40 people in a party got upset and threatened not to pay their bill.”
Officers arrived at the scene, and as one sorority member, Chante Spencer, said, “Police were standing there to make sure everyone paid, which we felt was racial profiling … You cannot make assumptions that people are going to commit a crime based on how they look,” reported the New York Post. The police were reportedly at the restaurant for about an hour, and they did not cite or arrest any of the sorority members.
The women were celebrating one of their friends, who was moving away to Los Angeles. The sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, is made up of women who have college degrees that are involved with the public services sector. The group included professionals like doctors, lawyers, and even some judges.
Protest outside of Bahama Breeze in Orange Village after a group of black customers allege they were racially profiled Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/KJbSteBMiQ
— Ray Strickland (@realraystrick) June 20, 2018
According to the sorority members that were present, the police also checked for proof of payment from several people. One member from the group told the police that she would personally settle up any charges that may have been missed.
Once the story hit social media, there was a huge outcry against the restaurant chain. However, it appears that the restaurant agreed that the incident was inappropriate. In response, Darden Restaurants, the owner of Bahama Breeze, released a statement.
“We clearly fell short of delivering great service to our guests. The manager involved no longer works for us because they mistreated a guest, which is inconsistent with our values. We have spoken with several members of the party to personally apologize and invite them back in order to provide an exceptional Bahama Breeze experience.”
Spencer also said that she hopes that the chain would undergo more training.
— WKYC Channel 3 News (@wkyc) June 21, 2018
A day after the incident on Wednesday, people congregated outside the restaurant to protest, according to Fox8.
Racial profiling in food establishments recently made headlines when two black men were arrested at a Starbucks when they were waiting for a friend, detailed CNN. Starbucks has since changed their policy to be more inclusive of anyone at their store, whether or not they are paying customers.