Fast Food

Sonic Drive-In fires employee over offensive comments on customer receipt

A Sonic drive-in worker was fired for racist receipt remarks.

A Sonic drive-in worker was fired for racist receipt remarks.  (iStock)

A Sonic Drive-In employee from Fort Worth, Texas has been fired after two customers complained to management that their receipts included offensive language.

The incident comes amid a reported rise in both customers or employees leaving offensive words and phrases on restaurant receipts.

According to FOX 4, Forth Worth resident Tyrone Moseley and a coworker stopped into the Sonic location for lunch Friday. Moseley said they ordered their food on the patio, where guests usually need to provide a name when ordering so a carhop an serve the correct customer. This time, for whatever reason, they weren't asked to give a name.

Only after completing his meal, did Moseley note descriptors listed on each receipt in the space for "Customer Info": “Mexican” was written on his friends tab and a variation of the n-word on his.

“One of the workers, she came outside. I asked her and said, ‘Do you know anything about this? Is this how y'all put the name of your customers on your receipt?’ She was like, ‘Ugh… no.’ But then she kind of giggled and just walked off and kept going,” Moseley told FOX 4. He said that he believes the carhop that served them Friday was responsible for the slurs on the receipts and told reporters that she was black.

“I try not to use that word, and I know where it comes from,” he said. “It kind of bothers me for your own kind to call you that. Especially at a place of business. Especially where I spend my money at.”

Moseley saved his receipts and reached out to Sonic. Though employees at the Fort Worth location involved in the incident told FOX 4 they could not comment, the matter was redirected to corporate. They provided the following statement: 

“We understand that a carhop wrote an offensive word on one customer’s receipt and a different offensive word on another customer’s receipt. The franchisees who own and operate this drive-in consider such behavior to be completely unacceptable. They have already investigated the matter and report that the carhop is no longer employed by the drive-in.”

Unfortunately, the Sonic incident is part of a larger rash of similar occurrences.

“Given the age and maturity of a large portion of our labor pool, it’s possible that many (servers) are not in tune with cultural sensitivity, or just write down the first thing that may pop into their head, which can create a lot of problems,” said Paul Paz, a career waiter based in Oregon who founded WaitersWorld, a professional server development group.

Sonic says its management team will provide new training to employees to ensure they understand this type of behavior is unacceptable in any situation or interaction with customers.

But an apology and training may not be enough. Moseley said he now plans on taking legal action against the fast food chain.