According to the article, a white couple allegedly requested a nonblack server, and the manager agreed to their demand. It is not clear what became of the original server who was helping the couple before they requested the change.
Several nearby customers overheard the conversation and protested the decision on social media, which led the chain restaurant to take action against the manager in question.
Reportedly, Maxwell Robbins was eating at the restaurant with his wife and a friend when he witnessed the exchange between the manager and the couple. He later made a post on his Facebook page that detailed the incident, saying he wanted to take a stand against the racism permitted at Olive Garden. His post 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,” he wrote.
He went on to say that the manager appeared to have no issue with giving the customers what they wanted and that they acted “without hesitation.”
His post was noticed by the hostess who was working at Olive Garden that same night, Amira Donahue. Donahue claimed she was also discriminated against by the white patrons. Robbins spoke kindly of Donahue in his post.
The Today article notes that Robbins opted not to speak to the couple as he didn’t want to cause a huge scene.
“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,” Robbins told the outlet.
Per Today, Olive Garden took quick action. They released a statement saying that the manager wasn’t working for them any longer and ensured they have a zero-tolerance policy for any discrimination.
Robbins supplied an update to his Facebook post after Olive Garden responded. He wrote that he had spoken to someone in the company who appeared to be in “good spirits” with their employer. The person acknowledged that Olive Garden had responded swiftly and seemed to be taking measures to ensure nothing like this would happen again.