About 40 members of the historically black sorority Delta Sigma Theta allege they were racially profiled at an Ohio Bahama Breeze restaurant.
According to Blavity, the group was celebrating one of its member’s recent achievements, including a book deal and a move to California. When it came to pay for their meals, one of the women present threatened to walk out because the server was taking a long time to bring her check.
Although the woman was dining with the group, she is not a member of the sorority. In any case, she did not leave. She waited and paid for her food.
Still, the manager of the restaurant called the police on the entire group.
"Police were standing there to make sure everyone paid, which we felt was racial profiling," Chanta Spencer, one of the diners, recounted.
Another one of the members, Nicole Zeigler, posted about the ordeal on Facebook, noting that the police restricted their access to move around the restaurant until they all paid and they had to show their receipts upon exiting.
The police report indicates that the manager asked that the officers remain in the restaurant until all of the women paid their bills. The manager also alleged that some of the members of the large group swore at her and created a “disturbance” while waiting for their checks.
While there were no arrests, fines, or other disciplinary actions taken as a result of the incident, the women said they feel that they were targeted.
“I am hoping that Bahama Breeze looks at this very carefully and alters policies and does some more training," Spencer said. “You cannot make assumptions that people are going to commit a crime based on how they look."
Spencer also maintains that the manager’s account of what unfolded is “totally not true.”
"We clearly fell short of delivering great service, and we've invited the guests back in order to provide an exceptional Bahama Breeze experience," said Rich Jeffers, senior director of communications for Darden Restaurants, which owns Bahama Breeze.
It seems that with this incident, Bahama Breeze has joined a growing list of restaurants where black customers are being mistreated. Several racially-charged incidents have occurred at Waffle Houses in various areas, and an Atlanta, Georgia, Houston's restaurant recently faced scrutiny after calling the cops on three black actresses for taking too long in the restroom.
Do these establishments not want or need black business? Because if they keep up this discriminatory behavior, they're likely going to lose it.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Flickr, Krista