Last year, forty-four-year-old real estate agent Brian Eason had a not-so-pleasant dining experience at Elmer’s Restaurant in Vancouver. In an interview with Oregon Live, Eaton explains his waitress “demanded he prepay for his meal” after a handful of customers allegedly dined and dashed.

It wasn’t until Eaton was asked to prepay for a second time that he began to question what was going on. The embarrassed waitress told him she was uncomfortable asking for an upfront payment because she believed it was discrimination, but she was made to do it. She explained to Eaton,


“I think it’s discrimination and my boss is here, and she’s forcing me to have me do this.”

Thirty-minutes later, a confused Eaton asked a white couple dining close by if they had to prepay for their meal. The answer was a resounding “no.”

The chain’s director of restaurant support Jill Ramos defended the company, saying, “At Elmer’s, we are proud to provide a welcoming Guest experience to everyone in the communities we serve. We are disappointed to hear about the complaint which occurred at one of our franchise-operated restaurants.”


Additionally, Ramos explains to Portland news outlet KATU, “There is no Elmer’s policy requiring any guest to pre-pay for their meal. We have taken steps to ensure that the franchisee has ended this practice.”

Eaton now seeks $100,000 in damages due to the racism he claims to have experienced at the restaurant. Despite his unfortunate time at Elmer’s, Eaton still left his waitress a larger than normal tip for her troubles.

[via Oregon Live]