HOLLYWOOD—Buffalo Wild Wings is being sued for allegedly profiling African-American patrons.
Christian Flakes, Tiesha D. Pogues, and Taquana N. Logan filed a lawsuit after an experience with a Caucasian server at a Buffalo Wild Wings location in Hollywood. Allegedly their server had written tip suggestions on their receipt after their visit which was back in January and referred to the three as “foreigners.” The three complained that other patrons who were not African-American did not receive the same treatment.
The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, July 23 in the Los Angeles Superior Court and alleges defamation, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and violations of the state Civil and Business Professional codes. The complaint cites Buffalo Wild Wings internal policy which reads, “The chain depends on the character of its team members,” demanding that its team members demonstrate, “the highest legal, moral, and ethical standards of honesty, integrity and fairness.”
The complaint also states that the server, only identified as a man between the ages of 25 and 30 years old named “Austin,” “essentially ignored” the three patrons while performing normal customer service duties to non-African Americans. The three asked the server multiple times for water after being seated.
After their meal, the server wrote, “Standard tip = $5,” states the lawsuit. The three plaintiffs in the case checked with other patrons of different ethnic backgrounds to see if they received the same treatment. A group of white patrons and Indian patrons claimed that they did not receive their receipts with a statement written on it at all.
Flakes confronted the server about the message on the receipt and asked if that was standard practice at Buffalo Wild Wings. The server responded to Flakes loud enough for other attendants at the restaurant to hear, “I do this for foreigners, such as yourselves, who don’t know how to tip well!” noted the lawsuit.
In a lawsuit that was filed a year ago against Buffalo Wild Wings, an employee stated that management encouraged team members to discriminate against African-Americans. The lawsuit alleges that the managers at this restaurant made derogatory comments about African-American customers. According to the employee’s lawyer, the company’s reasoning behind the intentional discrimination was because, “blacks don’t give good tips,” which was first reported by the Kansas City Star.