Red Lobster Server Briefly Suspended After Posting Photo Of Receipt With Racial Slur

Red Lobster says it backs its server.

Red Lobster says it backs its server.

Upon hearing the news that Red Lobster suspended the server who posted a photo of a receipt with a racial slur written on it, your first reaction might be “Whoa, hold up — that is supremely unfair and I am very angry and shaking my fist at Red Lobster!” But while it’s true that she was temporarily suspended, she’s now back at work with Red Lobster’s blessing.

The New York Daily News and other media outlets reported that the server had been suspended in the aftermath of the controversy, wherein she had posted a photo of the receipt with “None” written in the tip line and the slur in the total. But it seems Red Lobster is on the server’s side, despite that brief suspension.

A spokesman tells Consumerist that the server is back at work this week per her usual schedule, and didn’t miss a day of work during the brouhaha.

“We were in constant communication with her over the past several days and have extended her a high degree of respect and caring for what happened,” he tells Consumerist. “No one should have to endure what our employee went through last weekend.”

As for that suspension, he explains that it’s part of company policy — it’s a no-no to post a guest receipt’s online, for reasons which are pretty obvious. There’s confidential information on receipts and allowing a free-for-all on posting could open the doors to abusing customers. The spokesman explained that the policy is enforced to ensure our guests’ private information is protected and safe when they’re in our restaurants.

“We are disgusted by the language used on this guest check and it has no place in our restaurant or anywhere else. However, we do have an important policy where we prohibit employees from posting a guest receipt online – especially if it shows the guest’s name and credit card information,” the spokesman tells Consumerist. “In this unfortunate situation, our employee was in violation of this policy. In order to investigate this matter in a fair and consistent manner, we followed our guidelines and placed her on a brief paid leave while we worked to determine what happened.”

In this case, the customer’s name did end up online, as it was printed on the receipt. He claims he didn’t write the slur, but did admit to scrawling “None” in the tip category.

“I do not approve of the use of that type of talk, not now or ever!!!” he wrote in an apology letter his attorney provided to NBC News.

He says someone else must have written the slur on the ticket after he left. 

“Whoever put that on that receipt was very wrong,” said the man’s attorney. “Just as putting that receipt on the World Wide Internet was wrong. Two wrongs never make a right.”

The server says she wasn’t trying to set the World Wide Internet hounds on the customer, however.

“It wasn’t to get back at the gentleman,” she says. “I knew his signature was there, but I didn’t know his actual name was printed on the receipt. My intention wasn’t to attack the guy.”

Red Lobster waitress who posted racist receipt reprimanded by employer, she says [New York Daily News]
Man denies he wrote racial slur on receipt [NBC News]