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Home / Business / Buffalo Wild Wings fire employees who asked customers to switch tables due to skin color

Buffalo Wild Wings fire employees who asked customers to switch tables due to skin color



Now the incident has gone viral, the staff has been fired and the restaurant chain is facing a public setback, in the wake of yet another troubling example of public discrimination caught on the web.

"If you don't want to sit next to certain people in a public restaurant, you should probably have dinner in your own home," Mary Vahl wrote on Facebook, in a post shared more than 4,500 times from early Monday .

Buffalo Wild Wings did not immediately return a message Sunday night, but a spokesman for the chain told the Associated Press that it had fired the employees involved after an internal investigation.

The company "values ​​an inclusive environment and has zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind," a spokesman said in a statement to WBBM.

October 26, after a birthday party, Vahls & # 39; s party appeared at a Buffalo Wild Wings hidden in a strip mall in Naperville, Ill., A racial suburb about 40 minutes southwest of Chicago, Mary's husband, Justin, boarded for 1

5 years, but as a host began setting up his table, he quickly realized that he had misread the size of the group and went up to correct his mistake.

When the host – a young African American man – asked a question that surprised him: "What race are you?"

"Why does it matter?" Justin Vahl asked the host.

Sitting nearby, the host said, was a regular customer who "does not want black people sitting near him." He referred to the man as a racist.

Vahls and their friends wanted not to give the other customer any satisfaction, so they sat down at table anyway and started ordering drinks and appetizers. All the while, they began to get a look from the man – who appears to be white in a photo Mary posted on Facebook – and noticed that he was talking to the waitstaff. That's when a manager told them they had to come up for a new table.

"These seats are reserved," the manager told them, "and we have to move your group." (Remember, the Buffalo Wild Wings don't make reservations, according to the Naperville Sun.)

When they complained to their waitress, She told them she already knew what was happening: The regular customer is a racist, she said, even though she couldn't do anything. As several leaders tried to order the group to move to a new table, the six adults in the party decided to leave the Buffalo Wild Wings altogether.

As they got up to leave the restaurant, the host had tears in their eyes and other customers stood up to hug the group, Marcus Riley, a member of the party, told WBBM.

Justin came on the phone late Sunday, refusing to comment, saying he still needed to meet his lawyers. But in an interview with the TV station, Marcus Riley worried that the interaction inside the restaurant would cause the children to question what their teachers and classmates thought about them.

"It's 2019. We should be past this," he said, noting that the children at the table were of different backgrounds, but all in the minority at most white schools.

As they drove to a Hooters down the street, Riley's children offered a litany of disturbing questions: Had they done something wrong? Why didn't the man like them?

Riley told the station he answered with his own question: "If they don't value us as humans, as humans, will you pay them?"

Still, the incident seemed to burden some of them. Ethan Vahl, 10, would later tell the TV station, "No one should experience what we experienced that day with racism." His friend Dereon Smothers, also 10, said he had been thinking about the incident all week.

"It was most disturbing to me," said Riley, who is also their basketball coach. "To get my kids through it, it brought me to tears."

He reached out to the Buffalo Wild Wings, who later told the Sun that it was "in direct communication with the guest to understand their account of what happened and to offer our deepest apologies for unacceptable behavior."

By Sunday, several employees at the restaurant had been fired and several others had quit , although local media did not report how many were fired or what role they had played in the incident.

Meanwhile, the boys had a bright spot that Riley said he hopes they will remember instead: The day after the incident won they played their three-in-three basketball tournament near Oak Brook, Ill. [19659002] "5 young boys of all different ethnicities worked together to achieve a common goal," Justin Vahl wrote on Facebook according to TV "less than 24 hours after they had to leave a restaurant where they were not wanted because of the color of their skin. "


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