Skooter reporting 02/18/12
A black customer who regularly patronized a California restaurant filed a complaint after he received receipts using an offensive racial slur. Recently Landmark Steakhouse in Corona del Mar has settled the federal discrimination lawsuit. The settlement is the latest speck of cultural hullabaloo to hit the restaurant industry in recent months.
The Orange County Weekly reports that Mark McHenry, the complainant says restaurant employees had made derogatory remarks to him previously, such as, “black is the new white,” but he ignored it and continued to patronize the establishment.
On Dec. 5, 2010, when McHenry visited Landmark twice, he received three receipts, all full of racist language. What was written on the face of the receipts were the offensive names, such as, "McStinkyN*gger," "McNigS*it," and "McCottonwood."
You can view one of the offending receipts here.
MSNBC grabbed copies of three messages sent by a Landmark bartender, who is Caucasian, to McHenry:
The bartender said in a voice mail: "Yo Mark. Hey it's [NAME WITHHELD]. Give me a call when you get a chance man. Just wanted to apologize for that tab, dude. You know we were totally jokin' around."
Again in a text message, he said: "I know I made a big mistake by crossing the line. I have a family & mortgage that depend on me."
In the second text message that was sent on Christmas Eve, he said: "merry christmas! hope to see you soon. we miss you! please forgive us for being stupid. its not the same without you there. luv u bud!"
Stuars Shanus, the complainant’s attorney refused to reveal the settlement terms and Landmark Steakhouse has also declined to comment. However, the bartender who sent the messages to McHenry was out of job a week after the lawsuit was filed last March.
This is not the only series of racial incidents that hit the food industry. Over the past few months, in January Papa John’s Pizza apologized to an Asian patron after she was given a receipt which read “lady chinky eyes.” A month earlier, Chick-fil-A fired a cashier who wrote racial insults “Ching” and “Chong” on the receipts of a couple of Asian customers at one of its California eateries. And in January, McDonald’s had a PR headache when an anonymous individual put photos of discriminatory signs online, falsely claiming that they were posted in an actual McDonald outlet.