A group is upset after discovering an insensitive description on their receipt at Zenna Thai and Japanese on Rosemeade Parkway in North Dallas. The receipt from Friday evening labeled the customers as “5 black guys.”
"I looked at it and seen where it said customer name, and it said '5 black guys,'" said Jarian Walker, who received the receipt. "I was like, 'OK, wow.'"
The receipt was for three drinks after one of the men offered to buy drinks for a coworker and her friends who happened to be sitting inside the restaurant. She said she found a waitress and showed her who was paying.
"I found her, I walked her to the window and said, 'The guy in the red shirt next to the other guy in the hat,'" Maiya Harshaw said. "I didn't even have to use a color to describe who I was speaking about."
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When they received their ticket from their server, a man the company says was hired relatively recently, it revealed they were described as “5 black guys.”
“He could have just put, 'five guys at the bar.' That should have been sufficient right there,” said Michael Brown, one of the men sitting outside. “He didn’t have to put '5 black guys.' Like I said, as an older African-American male, that’s offensive to me.”
A restaurant manager offered NBC 5 a possible explanation Monday as to why customer descriptions are used, saying it’s often difficult for multiple wait staff to identify people on the busy patio where the group was sitting. He said the restaurant has used ethnic descriptions for other groups in the past, and this was not targeting a specific group.
Colby Reasonover, a waiter who is not associated with the incident, said the restaurant did not mean it in an offensive manner.
“We mean no disrespect at all. If anything, we apologize if anybody was offended,” Reasonover said.
Managers at Zenna Restaurant say it is a very diverse workplace, and they tell NBC 5 the server was relatively new to the restaurant and the country. He has been terminated, according to manager Nancy Arnette.
Zenna’s owner told NBC 5 the restaurant does not condone using any ethnic descriptions, and if descriptions of customers are required servers are told to use clothing. Owner Joe Keovixay went on to say this does not represent any of the restaurants associated with the Zenna brand.
“I just thought it was very disrespectful and it’s distasteful,” Harshaw said.
Decory King was one of two men from the group to call the issue to the attention of managers on Friday. He said a manager apologized to both him and Brown, but did not go outside and offer an apology to the rest of the group.
“The timing whether this was, 'five Asian guys,' 'five white guys,' it was wrong, insensitive and downright disrespectful,” King said.