Denny's has apologized after one of its Florida locations turned away a group of black customers at the door.
The incident occurred last Friday at the Lake City Denny's where Elijah Henderson Jr. went to dine with about 25 members of his church and was told that the restaurant was unable to accommodate them with only one cook and a cashier.
Henderson noted that the restaurant was packed with plenty of other people and watched as a family that arrived after him was seated. He said he felt he was being discriminated against and turned to Facebook Live to share his feelings.
In an interview with the Jacksonville news outlet, News4Jax, he said:
Is it the color of my skin? Because everybody else was eating and drinking, and she was, like, "I am not going to be able to accommodate you all.”
The employee who turned Henderson and his party away no longer works for the chain, and Denny's was quick to issue a statement regarding the matter.
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.
Here's the scoop via Twitter:
Here's a clip of Elijah Henderson Jr. discussing the incident with News4Jax outside of the Denny's:
Commenters are planning to boycott the restaurant:
If they aren't already:
Because this isn't the first time the chain has been accused of racism:
Some commenters shared their own negative personal experiences with the chain:
This commenter reminded everyone about the importance of social media in these situations—to give voice and spread the word:
Denny's chief operating officer reached out to Henderson to apologize.
Henderson described his reaction to the call to News4Jax:
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. What you're doing may be working at corporate, but when it drizzles down and comes to the franchisees, it is not working.
In the interview, Henderson summed up his feelings with this statement:
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.
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