The Vahls went out on a Saturday night near Chicago in search of dinner.
But the family and their party, a mostly African American group of parents and young kids celebrating a birthday, say they faced discrimination head-on instead when staff at a Buffalo Wild Wings repeatedly ordered them to leave their table — all because another customer did not want to sit next to black people.
Now, the incident has gone viral, the staff has been fired, and the restaurant chain is facing backlash after yet another troubling example of public discrimination captured online.
“If you don’t want to sit next to certain people in a public restaurant then you should probably eat dinner in the comfort of your own home,” Mary Vahl wrote on Facebook, in a post that has been shared more than 4,500 times as of early Monday.AD
Buffalo Wild Wings didn’t immediately return a message Sunday night, but a spokesperson from the chain told the Associated Press that it had fired the employees involved after an internal investigation.
The company “values an inclusive environment and has zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind,” a spokesperson said in a statement to WBBM.
On Oct. 26, following a birthday party, the Vahls’ party showed up to a Buffalo Wild Wings in a strip mall in Naperville, Ill., a racially diverse suburb about 40 minutes southwest of Chicago. Mary’s husband, Justin, asked for a table for 15, but as a host began setting up their table, he quickly realized he had miscounted the size of the group and went up to correct his mistake.
Then, the host — a young African American man — asked a question that took him aback: “What race are you guys?”