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Black Waitress Refuses to Serve Black Comedian, Now Has Him to Thank That She Still Has a Job

Comedian Ricky Smith with his RAKE volunteers before heading to Olive Garden (@rickonia/Instagram)

Comedian Ricky Smith (center) with his RAKE volunteers before heading to Olive Garden (@rickonia/Instagram)

Comedian Ricky Smith was refused service by a Black hostess at an Ohio Olive Garden after handing out toiletries to local residents this week, leading him to share the details on Twitter. In an incident occurring Nov. 29, the waitress declined to serve Smith and his friends because she doesn’t like waiting on Black customers.

In his first tweet, Smith shared the waitress’s prejudiced remark that led him to request a new server. But the restaurant denied them. A later tweet revealed the manager told them to accept the server or leave.

Later, Smith revealed the server in question was not a white woman.

But he didn’t leave without putting up a fight. Smith’s group, who spent Giving Tuesday volunteering for his charity, Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere, stayed put and called the police. Once officials arrived, Smith shared their assessment of the situation.

Olive Garden took notice and reached out to the comedian on Twitter. The next day, Dave George, the executive vice president of operations, contacted Smith directly.

After speaking with George for nearly an hour, Smith revealed in a series of tweets that the company sided with him, noting the manager and waitress were “100 percent in the wrong.” Olive Garden placed the two employees on leave after Smith urged executives not to fire them during the holiday season.

Additionally, the restaurant’s corporate offices reached an agreement with Smith by giving an undisclosed sum to RAKE.

On Instagram, the comedian, who suggested the remaining staff undergo sensitivity training, also noted the company fired one staff member after one of his friends pointed out a Facebook post the worker made about serving people on welfare.

Still, Smith seemed pleased with the resolution and hoped the gift cards would benefit residents across the country.

The comedian also dispelled rumors that the staff had kicked him and his team out of Olive Garden because he attempted to serve alcohol to minors.

Smith’s incident follows a similar occurrence at Chili’s last month when Atlanta Black Star reported management questioned a retired Army member’s credentials on Veteran’s Day and took back the free meal they had given him.

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