A Missouri teen was left “distraught and upset” after an IHOP waitress printed the n-word on her receipt for a to-go order early last month. What the restaurant did to atone for the ugly incident has only made matters worse, however.
Maya Thomas, 19, said she was shocked to see the slur printed near the top of her receipt after she picked up a to-go order at an IHOP in Grandview on April 11, the Kansas City Star reported. Thomas said she didn’t notice the slur until two days later and immediately called IHOP to complain.
“The franchisee was made aware on the 13th, an investigation was launched that same day and the server was terminated,” IHOP spokeswoman Stephanie Peterson said, adding that server’s actions were unacceptable and “in direct violation of [the restaurant’s] policy.”
The pancake house failed to inform Thomas that the server, who is also Black, was fired, however.
Days after the incident, the teen’s mother said they received a $10 IHOP gift certificate in the mail.
“I think that’s really what made her mad,” said Thomas’ mother, who asked to remain unnamed. “…Of all the things you could call someone, you call them that. And then the way you deal with it is by giving them 10 dollars?”
In an interview with The Star, the mother described her teen daughter as “very timid and very shy” and said the receipt made her very upset.
“And of course it got me pissed,” she told the newspaper. ” … I just wish they had never given her the receipt.”
The concerned mother shared a photo of the receipt on Facebook where family and friends shared it over 400 times.
IHOP president Darren Rebelez addressed the incident in an email to The Star:
“The franchisee, who owns and operates this restaurant, once made aware of the incident, terminated the employee in question and immediately contacted the guest to apologize. For 60 years, IHOP and our franchisees have strived to create a warm and hospitable dining experience for all guests, and we are currently working with the franchisee to ensure all possible steps are taken to deliver on that promise.”
“IHOP and its franchisees do not and will not tolerate racism, bigotry or harassment of any kind.”