Stiffing a waitress on her tip is bad enough, but giving a racist excuse is even worse.
Ask Jasmine Brewer, a waitress who works at Applebee’s in Radcliff, Kentucky.
Earlier this month, she said, four customers didn’t tip her on a $50 order. Instead, the diners left a handwritten note on a napkin: “We don’t tip black people.”
The 26-year-old Brewer said the party responsible for the racist note consisted of two well-dressed couples.
“It looked like they were having a rough day, like they had just been to a funeral,” Brewer told HuffPost. “They ordered two 2-for-$20 meals, two Mountain Dews and two sweet teas.”
Brewer said she did everything possible to make the experience pleasant, even telling the group “Have a nice day” as they left.
“They said, ‘Have a nice day too!’” Brewer recalled. She didn’t know the customers had a problem with her until she saw the note.
“I did everything I could to make it good and in the end, I was the problem,” she said, bemused.
The waitress said her co-workers were shocked by the racist note, especially her manager.
“She was livid and she’s white,” said Brewer. “She is dating a black man and they have two kids together. There are a lot of biracial couples working at Applebee’s,” she said.
Applebee’s sent a statement to HuffPost condemning the nasty napkin:
All restaurant team members deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. The remarks directed at one of our franchisee’s employees are unacceptable and inconsistent with Applebee’s values as a brand.
The company also noted that it was looking into the matter:
The franchisee conducted an internal investigation and has collected statements from the team member as well as those who were present during the incident, including other team members and the Manager on duty. As soon as the Manager was informed she immediately went out to speak with the guests, but they had already left the restaurant. The franchisee is continuing to work with the restaurant team to keep the lines of communication open.
After Brewer’s mother, Regina E. Boone, posted a photo of the napkin on Facebook, some people felt obliged to make things right by donating money to her. Boone told local station WAVE that her daughter has received $175 so far ― more than three times the amount of the bill.
Brewer said the lesson she’s learned from the experience is more important than the money.
“There is more good in the world than bad,” she told HuffPost. “That’s what the Lord was trying to tell me.”
However, the almighty may have taught her another lesson as well: that there are lots of skeptical people in the world, especially since some waiters have fabricated stories about receiving racist messages on receipts in the past.
Brewer acknowledged that she has also been accused of faking the napkin note, something she vehemently denies. “I almost wish my mom had never posted that photo,” she said. “Why would we go out of our way to post fake news?”
She is hoping the reaction to the racist note leads to something more positive.
“I hope with all this getting exposed, people learn to love people for who they are and stop being cruel,” Brewer said.
The story has been updated with further comment from Applebee’s.