EAST LANSING, MI. (WLNS) – Four friends went into Applebee’s for dinner on Friday to de-stress from the second week of classes at Michigan State University. The next day, they say they felt even more stressed when they saw a photo of their receipts from the night before on social media with comments about their race printed across the picture.
“I was just like scrolling through Facebook and I was just scrolling down and then I see this signature and I’m like hmm that kind of looks like my handwriting,” said Applebee’s customer Brittany Lane.
It wasn’t until Lane, who is a senior at MSU, saw a photo that she realized was her receipt from just the night before.
“It was actually a friend on Facebook who I guess used to work at the restaurant and she screenshotted it from Snapchat and posted it to Facebook,” said Lane.
Lane along with her 3 friends ate at an East Lansing Applebee’s Friday night. They say they felt a strange vibe from their server.
“She was really standoff-ish when she first approached us at the table when we first got there…wasn’t very friendly,” said Applebee’s customer Montreise Giles.
The group says when asking for modifications for their meal, the waitress refused saying the kitchen was “too busy”.
“When I asked the manager, she was like, ‘the kitchen is too busy?… That’s really funny, I’ve never heard that before but I’ll make a modification to your food,'” Lane stated.
In their eyes, the service was awful so only one left a tip.
But it wasn’t until they saw the server, who the restaurant says is African-American, had posted a screen-shot of their receipts with the words “another four reasons why I hate black people.”
That’s when they took matters into their own hands.
“We decided that we definitely needed to go talk to management at the restaurant and just see how they will go about handling the situation,” said Giles.
Applebee’s released a statement saying:
“We were made aware yesterday that a team member at our restaurant posted some guests’ personal information accompanied by a hurtful, unacceptable comment on social media. We immediately investigated the incident, including speaking to the guests involved, and the team member is no longer employed at this restaurant. We have a zero tolerance policy with regards to both the protection of our guests’ information and always treating our guests with respect. We have apologized to these guests and look forward to the opportunity to welcome them back into our restaurant.”
“It’s just very upsetting, I’ve never come into direct contact with statements like that or racism directly so it’s just like, even still, I’m just like, in complete disbelief,” Giles stated.
Since the incident happened, the server was fired and the restaurant has reached out to the group of friends apologizing and giving them each gift cards and the girls say they are happy with the restaurant’s response.
6 News also contacted the server involved and she did not get back with us.