Denny’s recently apologized to a man who accused the restaurant of racially discriminating against him and his church group on Friday evening.
Elijah Henderson and 25 other group members stopped by a Denny’s in Lake City, FL and one of the employees immediately refused them service. The woman claimed the restaurant was short on staff with only one cook and one cashier. Henderson tried to empathize with the restaurant worker, but she declined to accommodate them.
“I was, like, ‘I understand that there is only you and him but can you guys feed us?’ She was, like, ‘I am not going to accommodate you all,” the man told News 4 Jax. “There was another family that came in right after me, she was, like,’You guys go ahead and have a seat. I will be with you momentarily.'”
Henderson accused Denny’s of racial discrimination against him and his fellow church members because they’re Black. He went on Facebook Live a few moments later and shared his experience with other social media users.
“Is it the color of my skin? That’s where I left it at. Is that a problem? Because everybody else was eating and drinking, and she was, like, ‘I am not going to be able to accommodate you all’,” Henderson told the news station.
The customer said Chris Bode, the Chief Operating Officer of Denny’s reached out to him and apologized for the unpleasant experience.
“He was like, ‘Well, I work with a diversity department.’ I was like, ‘Well, you guys have to do a little more work because it’s not working,” Henderson noted.
Denny’s also released the following statement, “We were shocked by the unacceptable experience our guests received recently at our Lake City, Florida, location, and sincerely apologize. We simply do not tolerate discrimination of any kind in our restaurants.”
The company confirmed that the employee who refused to accommodate the group was recently fired following their investigation.
Henderson said he truly feels his skin color was the reason he and his party were not seated and believed the restaurant was in the wrong.
“I feel as since I’m African American, that’s why she doesn’t feel like she should accommodate us. I don’t understand. I am not trying to understand, the only thing I do know is that they are wrong, they are wrong for how they treated us… Point blank, I don’t care what you look like, or where you come from, I just want equality,” the customer added.