An Olive Garden restaurant in Indiana fired one their managers for complying with a racist customer’s demand for a server who wasn’t black, after a customer at a different table exposed the manager’s actions on Facebook. The incident took place last Saturday night, after 16-year-old Amira Donahue, a hostess at the Evansville restaurant in southwestern Indiana, says that the racist customer had already made a complaint about her and another black hostess. The customer in question, a white woman, “made comments” about Amira to her manager, claiming that she “should work at a strip club instead” the Italian restaurant. “She asked if I’m even black and if I am from here,” Amira recalled. She also noted that the woman was with a whole group people, including two children.
When the party was then seated at a table with a black server, the racist woman exploded with rage. She demanded to one the managers that her table have a non-black server instead, and the manager complied. Maxwell Robbins, another customer that was present at the restaurant at the time, was appalled by what he witnessed. He submitted multiple complaints to Olive Garden and even took to Facebook to document the whole ordeal. In the post, he explained how “disgusting” it was that the manager honoured the request “without hesitation.”
Maxwell told NBC News that he was motivated to call out the manager’s inexcusable actions after he saw how upset Amira was about it. “The young lady was in tears and had no one to support her,” Maxwell noted. “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.” Amira said she felt that the manager had made the decision that the customer was more important than two his employees. Thankfully, the company took action. A spokeswoman for Olive Garden, Meagan Bernstein, has confirmed that, after completing an investigation into the situation, the company “made the decision to separate with the manager involved.”