A server at an Austin IHOP probably wishes he had been more thoughtful when he served a traveling couple early Monday morning.
Arainia Brown and her boyfriend Rolman Sparkman stopped at the IHOP on Cesar Chavez Street and Interstate 35 around 3 a.m. Monday, KVUE reported. All was well until the couple asked for the receipt. When the waiter gave them their check, they weren’t thrilled with what it said.
No, there was no rude handwritten note, and there were no out-of-the-ordinary charges. What Sparkman and Brown took issue with was the at the top of the receipt.
It simply read “BLACK PPL.”
“You could have asked me my name,” said Brown, who added the incident was made worse by the fact that their server was also black. “Don’t put, don’t label me. I don’t label you.”
Brown shared the receipt on Facebook rather than bring it up at the restaurant. It has since been shared by multiple news outlets, and the original receipt picture has been viewed thousands of times.
“This is not a joke,” Sparkman said to KVUE. “It’s very serious and it hurt a lot of people’s feelings.”
IHOP’s corporate office released the following statement about the incident:
“This was a poor choice made by our franchisee’s team member, and is not in keeping with policies and procedures. We recognize that it could be offensive and apologize. Everyone is welcome in our restaurants and our franchisee is using this as a teachable moment for the entire team so that it will not reoccur.”