A couple returning home to Austin, Texas stopped at an IHOP to grab a late-night to-go meal (which, somehow, didn't include pancakes) and were incredibly displeased when they discovered their receipt labeled them by race, Fox 7 reported. The couple, Arainia Brown and Rolman Sparkman, spoke with the local news outlet to express their displeasure that their receipt had "BLACK PPL" printed at the top.
An additional layer to the incident was that their server, Dwayne Williams, was a black man.
"I feel upset, I'm sad, I'm angry. Like this, it makes no sense," Brown told KVUE. Brown herself has worked as a waitress and pointed out that there are plenty of other ways to identify customers, such as their shirt color. "You could have asked me my name," Brown said. "[D]on't label me. I don't label you."
Williams has since apologized on Facebook.
So this is Dwayne W from the viral IHOP incident. All I want to say is, next Tuesday for National Pancake Day, and any other time as well, go to IHOP and get a delicious meal.
A slip up by me in a rush to get to-go orders to guests should not be held against an en entire establishment. I apologize if I offended anyone because that wasn't my intention.
As a proud black prince myself, my sisters and brothers, I have no doubt that we will continue discussions about this and learn how to deal with out feelings of hurt in a more positive way that doesn't take away from some else.
Once again, go get some pancakes people. Thats why you go to IHOP!
IHOP has spoken out by firing Williams and releasing a statement.
This was a poor choice made by our franchisee's team member, and is not in keeping with policies and procedures. We recognize that it could be offensive and sincerely apologize. Everyone is welcome in our restaurantsand our franchisee is using this as a teachable moment for the entire team so that it will not reoccur.
In addition to quickly realizing his error in labeling customers by their race, Williams did get another thing right: Tuesday March 8 is National Pancakes Day, which is when IHOP gives away free stacks.
Brown and Sparkman will likely not be attending.