Since the announcement of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory, incidents of harassment and racism have been widely reported across the country. People are using Trump’s victory as a call-to-arms for hateful and destructive behavior.
Due to their place in our society and existence as cultural and socioeconomic melting pots, restaurants have been ground zero for many of these incidents.
As citizens of the restaurant industry it’s important that we are fully aware of the range of disturbing situations impacting our community. Even though some of the incidents may appear completely foreign to you, we want you to be prepared for what’s happening out there.
That’s why we have compiled a list of some of the worst Trump-inspired incidents that have happened in restaurants across the country.
Yes, you read that correctly. A diner, incensed by what he perceived to be an anti-Trump discussion by a neighboring table, eventually got angry enough to punch a woman in the face.
In fact, the operator of this restaurant did an admirable job trying to separate the gentleman’s (description applied loosely) party from the two women who were “offending” him during the meals. The man left the restaurant only to return shortly thereafter and attack one of the women.
Instead of a tip, a server at a TGI Friday’s in Kalamazoo, Michigan, found a guest check filled with curse words, a racial slur, and #DonaldTrump.
In response to the incident, a TGI Friday’s spokesperson offered this thought, “Now is the time for everyone to come together. We're focused on making sure every guest and team member feels cared for, valued and respected.”
Great sentiment, but it’s going to take more than that to manage the vitriol this election has left.
Maggiano’s Little Italy in Friendship Heights unknowingly welcomed a white nationalist group into its establishment. The restaurant claims the group made a last-minute reservation at the restaurant under a different name. Emboldened by Donald Trump’s victory, the alt-right group had gathered in Washington, DC for a rally in support of its discriminatory, neo-nazi ideology.
Once in the restaurant, members of the National Policy Institute were seen making the Nazi salute. These images were then shared on social media.
The restaurant has since apologized for accepting the group’s reservation. To further amend for the mistake, Maggiano’s donated its profits from the evening to the Anti-Defamation League.
Echoing comments made by Donald Trump, customers at Tribeca Steakhouse in New York City shouted, “Grab them by their p***y!” to a group of women walking by the restaurant. The men repeated the comments several times after being confronted by the women.
What makes this incident more troubling is that restaurant employees came outside and told the women to calm down, saying the customer were good guys.
Bad behavior isn’t exclusive to Trump supporters. In a bit of irony, restaurant owners fighting against the discriminatory tone of Trump’s candidacy charged Trump voters an extra $5 to enter its establishment.
A sign on the door read, “Yes, this is discrimination, but you voted for it.”
At a time when we should all be coming together to support one another; this is exactly what not to do as a restaurant operator.
Waiting for your order at Starbucks is an accepted part of the experience. Often there’s a line of customers in front of you, and it’s only natural for your order to take its spot in the queue.
A Trump supporter recently took offense to having to wait for his latte, claiming anti-white discrimination. A video of the incident shows the customer in all his disgruntled glory. He even yells, “Trump. I voted for Trump. You lost,” to add an exclamation point to his ridiculousness.
Sadly, we expect these kinds of incidents will continue to occur across the country. If one should happen in your restaurant, please remember that you have the final word on how people should be treated in your establishment.
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” - Ghandi