A customer at an Indiana Olive Garden allegedly insulted her black hostess and loudly demanded that she be served by a nonblack employee last Saturday. The manager — who responded by complying with the request “without hesitation” — has since been fired.
Amira Donahue, a 16-year-old who works as a hostess at the Evansville restaurant, said that the customer, a white woman, vocally complained about her and another black hostess to her manager on Saturday.
“She made comments about me to my co-workers concerning my race and saying that I should work at a strip club instead,” Donahue said, according to NBC News. “She asked if I’m even black and if I am from here.”
According to Donahue, the woman came to the restaurant with a group of people, including two children, and became angry when they were seated at a table served by a black waitress. At this point she shouted for a nonblack employee to serve her, a demand to which the manager quickly acquiesced.
An observer to the incident, Maxwell Robbins, took to Facebook later to document what had happened. In the post, he noted that the manager complied to the customer’s demands “without hesitation.”
Robbins also reportedly called the Olive Garden several times to report the incident.
According to NBC News, the customer’s treatment of Donahue drove her to tears, which Robbins noticed.
“The young lady was in tears and had no one to support her,” Robbins said. “So I felt if I didn’t write this post, nothing would have happened and she would continue to go to work for a place that she feels uncomfortable at and unwanted at.”
On Wednesday, the restaurant chain announced that it had completed an investigation and decided to fire the manager in question.
“As a result of our investigation, we made the decision to separate with the manager involved,” Meagan Bernstein, a spokeswoman for Olive Garden, said.
Here’s more on the story from WEHT-TV: