Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, except for when it results in your being marginalized on a restaurant receipt. Unfortunately, that is what happened to one Texas couple who dined at an IHOP in Austin on Monday, says KVUE. Arainia Brown and her boyfriend Rolman Sparkman stopped by the restaurant that morning to pick up a to-go breakfast order. But when Brown peaked at her receipt, she noticed the receipt described her and her boyfriend simply as “BLACK PPL.”
Brown tells the news station: “I feel upset, I’m sad, I’m angry. Like this, it makes no sense.” She adds that the server was a young black man, which only added “insult to injury.” Brown says that the served could have asked her for her name, something that is typically standard with to-go orders. “Don’t put, don’t label me. I don’t label you,” declares Brown. Not everyone agrees with Brown’s anger and many have taken to Twitter to tell her to “lighten up.”
Woman mad at Ihop because her receipt said “Black people”. Poor choice, but probably just her way of keeping it all Straight. Lighten up
— kwanza2times (@BigKwanDon) March 2, 2016
African-American couple upset 😭 because a Black waiter put “BLACK PPL” on their receipt, the whining continues. https://t.co/3Im7EDkV8M
— Bob in SC (@RCornelius2160) March 2, 2016
IHOP released a statement condemning the actions of the employee: “This was a poor choice by our franchisee’s team member, and is not in keeping with policies and procedures. We recognize that this could be offensive and apologize. Everyone is welcome in our restaurants.” The company adds that it plans to use the incident as a “teachable moment.”
If only IHOP could teach the entire restaurant industry that labeling customers is a poor practice. Just last month, a bartender admitted to writing Spanish slang for “extra fat” on a customer’s receipt. While the bartender was eventually fired, he is just one of many to write insults on receipts.