A Black woman said she was appalled when she went to pick up her order from a Pennsylvania restaurant and saw "n****r chik" printed on her receipt. The customer, identified as Kassie, told WTAJ this happened at the Aviation Inn in Duncansville.
When Kassie called one of the owners, Allen Butterbaugh, about the racist receipt, he reportedly told her the N-word was deliberately used as a "joke" but admitted she wasn't meant to see it.
“He did tell me that this was a joke amongst the kitchen, and he said it got out of hand,” she said. “It was embarrassing to me. It was hurtful. I did not find it funny.”
According to Kassie, Butterbaugh claims he told the employee who put the racial slur on the order not to do it. The owner then defended the employee, saying he wasn't racist and that he could do it because he hangs out with minorities. They even said his friends called him a "brother."
That was enough for the Black woman to share her story on social media and with the news. It quickly went viral with thousands of people blasting Aviation Inn on the way they handled the situation.
The owners later issued a Facebook statement, with limited comments, apologizing for printing the N-word on Kassie's receipt. They also revealed that the employee who used the slur has been "reprimanded" though they didn't specify how:
"The staff member has been reprimanded for his behavior. We have never or ever will condone discrimination of any form based on color/ethnicity/gender/sexual orientation. We have worked over the last 10 years of ownership to create a culture of diversity in this establishment. It is our hope that forgiveness can still be found in our society today, as we all work together in our communities to stope hate of any kind. Please accept our sincere apology and we look forward to continuing to serve you."
Amid the backlash, the owners said they don't appreciate the criticism they've been receiving over the incident, even calling it "borderline harassment."
“You can tell people about it instead of sharing it. Just talking to them and saying, ‘Did you see what happened?’ Not going there again instead of sharing it and sharing it,” owner Maureen Butterbaugh told WTAJ.
Allen Butterbaugh continued, “We’ve gotten backlash, we’ve been getting calls and phone threats. So many messages via Facebook coming out. Borderline harassment."
NAACP President Andrae Holsey said Aviation Inn's owners need to do more besides what he called an "appalling" apology.
“I hear through the grapevine that the employee was not terminated until WTAJ called, which is interesting," Holsey said, adding that the organization will be conducting an investigation. "I believe the apology could’ve been more thorough. Just saying that I promote diversity and I hire minorities isn’t enough."
He also invited Maureen and Allen Butterbaugh to discuss diversity policies and training, but one of the owners said that's not necessary.
“We’ve employed so many people before, and it’s never happened before, so I guess we could look into that," Maureen Butterbaugh. "It never even crossed our minds that it was something we’d have to say, ‘We’ve always been inclusive of everyone.'"