Steakhouse Apologizes to Black Couple In New Orleans For Automatically Adding Tip And Lying

Bill in plate on restaurant table

Steakhouse Apologizes to Black Couple In New Orleans For Automatically Adding Tip And Lying

They were falsely told it was restaurant policy.

Published March 5th

Written by BET Staff

A Black couple is receiving an apology after a tip was added to their bill at a New Orleans steakhouse. 

According to a Facebook post, James Washington wrote that he and his wife went to Desi Vega's Seafood and Prime Steaks and were surprised to see a 20% tip added to their bill. Then they were falsely told the tip was mandatory policy.

Wasghington added, "A 20% tip for me is for par (or sub par) service. I respect waiters and bartenders so I like to do much more. So I asked our server if this was standard. He said 'yes, we add 20% to all of our bills.' Something didn’t seem right about his response.” 

However, he asked a white couple sitting next to them and a mandatory tip was not on their bill. 

RELATED: Racist Yearbook: Black Students Targeted With N-Word Slur

After the Facebook post went viral, owner Desi Vega apologized in a statement and said, "The fact that my staff tried to cover the situation up by lying about it makes it much worse. Desi Vega's stands firmly against discrimination or profiling of any kind."

He also added the waiter and the manager on duty at the time were suspended. 

James Washington reacted to the apology by posting, "This is way bigger than us. The community has rallied behind this and has been vocal in seeking change. Our post began as a simple effort to bring public awareness to a horrible, racist experience, and ended up being shared and commented on more times than we could ever imagine."

The owner of  Desi Vega's Seafood and Prime Steak said the staff would undergo racial bias and sensitivity training.

 

Credit: Oscar Wong

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