Comedian Ricky Smith claimed he and his friends were kicked out from an Olive Garden restaurant after encountering a racist server on Tuesday night.
WKYC reported that Smith was left speechless from the incident, which occurred in Parma, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland. While out with a group of friends, Smith alleged that their table’s server told them “she doesn’t like serving blacks.” The server happened to be African-American.
When the group made an apparently simple request to the Olive Garden manager for a new server, they got booted from the restaurant.
"Asked the manager for a new waitress and she said our options were to have her as our waitress or leave," Smith tweeted.
The manager’s response seems pretty severe, considering Smith made it sound like a relatively guileless bid for a different server.
"Honestly am at a loss for words. Not leaving until the cops come and physically remove us," he wrote.
Just got asked to leave @olivegarden because we asked for a new server because our server said she doesn't like serving blacks...— Ricky Smith (@Rickonia) November 30, 2016
2016. Honestly am at a lost for words. Not leaving until the cops come and physically remove us— Ricky Smith (@Rickonia) November 30, 2016
And it was a black waitress who said she doesn't like serving blacks.— Ricky Smith (@Rickonia) November 30, 2016
Asked the manager for a new waitress and she said our options were to have her as our waitress or leave— Ricky Smith (@Rickonia) November 30, 2016
After Smith posted details about the incident on Twitter, public backlash against the restaurant incited Olive Garden’s corporate operations to get involved. It appeared on Wednesday morning that the executive vice president of operations planned to call him to offer some sort of explanation.
The restaurant did tweet an acknowledgment of the situation, but that doesn’t really make up for the fact that Smith and his friends got stranded without dinner in the Olive Garden parking lot because of a waitress.
@hurtinfeelingz We find this deeply concerning. All guests are welcome at Olive Garden. We are currently investigating the matter.— Olive Garden (@olivegarden) November 30, 2016
There’s a fine line between speaking one’s mind and just being plain inflammatory for no reason. However, details surrounding what caused the server to say she didn’t like serving blacks were later revealed by the Parma Police Department.
On Tuesday night around 8:15 p.m., they received a 911 call from an Olive Garden employee who reportedly stated there was a dispute "after a customer stated that the waitress who was serving the party of six made a comment about not liking to serve black people because they don't tip."
Even if Smith and his friends caused her to be angry at them, it’s not at all professional to respond by making sweeping generalizations about the group’s ethnicity.
Some Twitter users speculated whether or not the server in question would get fired for her bigoted comment to Smith’s table.
@Rickonia . Did you contact Olive Garden corporate? Get those assclowns fired!— Tina B (@tina_beeee) November 30, 2016
Banner photo credit: Facebook, Ricky Smith