Tasha Lee, the customer who reported the server’s remarks, told Fox 26 that the waitress had asked to check Lee’s ID just before she made the inappropriate comment.
“I smiled and she said, 'Don’t take this racially, but sometimes the only way you can tell with black people is from their eyes and their smiles, because it’s so dark,’” Lee remembered of the conversation.
The waitress then allegedly told Lee that her own son-in-law and grandson were black.
Lee informed management, who replaced the waitress with a different server.
Buffalo Wild Wings has since confirmed the employee has been terminated from the restaurant.
“The employee in this case no longer works for Buffalo Wild Wings,” the restaurant said in a statement obtained by Fox News. “We value an inclusive environment and have no tolerance for discrimination of any kind. We’ve offered our deepest apologies to the guest.”
Lee confirmed to Fox 26 that she was offered an apology — as well as a $10 gift card, given to her by managers on the day of the incident — though she said the incident was indicative of a bigger problem.
“I mean, to tell a black person that the only way you can tell it’s them from their picture is from the whites of their eyes, and the whites of their teeth it’s absolutely unacceptable,” she told Fox 26. “While this was the first time this has happened to me so overtly, this is a normal experience for African-Americans everywhere.”
This isn’t the first time a Buffalo Wild Wings has found itself at the center of controversy. Gary Lovelace, a former Buffalo Wild Wings employee in Kansas, filed a lawsuit against the restaurant and its parent company for allegedly creating a “racially hostile work environment.”
Lovelace further claimed that, during his time at the Overland Park restaurant, he observed managers making derogatory comments about African-American customers and refusing them service.