- Buffalo Wild Wings says it has fired several employees after a diner’s Facebook post describing a racist incident on October 27 went viral.
- On Facebook, a diner named Mary Vahl said the wait staff had moved her party for the benefit of a “regular” whom employees openly described as “racist.”
- Vahl described her party of 18 as mostly African American.
- A Buffalo Wild Wings representative said the regular had also been barred from its locations for life.
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Buffalo Wild Wings says it has fired a group of employees from a location in Naperville, Illinois, after a diner said her party was asked to move to accommodate a “racist” regular.
The customer, Mary Vahl, wrote about the incident in a viral October 27 Facebook post, saying her group of six adults and 12 children was asked to move after being seated next to a customer whom employees openly described as “racist.” Vahl said most of the members of her party were African American.
In a statement to Business Insider, a Buffalo Wild Wings representative said the company had “terminated the employees involved” in the episode, following an internal review.
“Further, we have banned the customer who exhibited the inappropriate behaviour from all Buffalo Wild Wings sports bars for life,” the person said.
As a result of the incident, Buffalo Wild Wings said it would “conduct sensitivity training throughout our Chicagoland sports bars.”
Vahl did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. In her Facebook post, she wrote that the incident occurred on October 26 at a Buffalo Wild Wings in the Chicago suburb of Naperville. According to Vahl, after some initial confusion about the size of the party, the host asked Vahl’s husband, Justin, about the racial composition of their group.
She said the host went on to explain that the party of 18 would have to be seated next to two of the location’s “regular customers.” Vahl wrote that the host said one of those guests was “racist” and therefore wouldn’t want to sit next to a group of black patrons.
“Of course, we don’t give him the satisfaction and told the host we’ll sit where they set us up,” Vahl wrote. “We knew right away who it was because the guy was staring at us the entire time and giving us looks as we were being seated.”
Vahl said that as her group began to order drinks and appetizers, another Buffalo Wild Wings employee approached the table of the regulars for what Vahl described as a “playful” interaction. That employee then came up to Vahl’s tables and said her group would have to move, as the seats were reserved.
After a back-and-forth with different managers, Vahl said her group ended up leaving and taking their business to Hooters. Vahl wrote that she and her husband had to explain to their “young impressionable sons” that they “didn’t get kicked out, but willingly CHOSE to leave because of the unfair treatment we were being given.”
“How is an establishment OK with serving people who try to control which types of people sit around them?!” Vahl wrote.
“In 2019, this type of behaviour should not be accepted because of certain views,” Vahl added. “If you don’t want to sit next to certain people in a public restaurant then you should probably eat dinner in the comfort of your own home.”
A Buffalo Wild Wings representative told Business Insider that the company “values an inclusive environment and has zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind.”
“We have been in direct communication with the group of guests to understand their account of what happened and have offered our deepest apologies for any unacceptable behaviour,” the person said in a statement.
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