The CEO/Chairman of Papa John’s pizza restaurant apologized for a racist voicemail accidentally left by a delivery driver. Monday, a day after a worker from a Sanford, Fla. “butt-dialed” a customer and ranted over a tip, John Schnatter took to Facebook and apologized for the incident. Two workers allegedly involved were terminated.
Citing a May 28 ABC News report, sources say a Papa John’s racist rant was heard on the voicemail of a customer they had just delivered a pizza to moments earlier.
Apparently, the delivery driver — who was a victim of “butt dialing,” (accidentally dialing the last call on a cell phone tucked into a person’s pocket after sitting down) — made light of a tip. During the conversation back at the pizza unit, the worker could be heard using the N-word.
“I guess that’s the only requirement for being a [insert N-word] in Sanford.
“Yeah, they give me five bucks there — fine outstanding African-American gentleman of the community,” the unnamed worker was heard saying on the voicemail recording.
The customer responded by creating a YouTube video to show proof that they tipped the worker (21%) “as usual” for their service.
Note: It’s customary to tip a minimum of 15% and 20% for full-service casual and fine dining, respectively.
In a town still reeling over the Trayvon Martin shooting by George Zimmerman, it’s understandable how important it is to temper matters involving racism of any nature.
Schnatter’s apology on Facebook after Papa John’s racist voicemail rant:
“Friends, I am extremely concerned to learn about the reprehensible language used by two former employees in one of our restaurants. Their thinking and actions defy both my personal and the company’s values, and everything for which this company stands. The employees responsible for this absolutely unacceptable behavior were immediately terminated.
“My heartfelt apology goes out to the customer involved, his family, and our community at large. I am very sorry that anyone would be exposed to these hurtful and painful words by any person involved in any way with our company…”
It’s unknown if the family of the alleged incident intend to pursue further action against the pizza restaurant and delivery chain.
However, positive steps in the wake of the Papa John’s racist voicemail have been taken against the appalling behavior.
Incidents like this are cropping up all across the country.
A few that come to mind are the Cold Stone Creamery Facebook Obama slur, the “Lee, Ching Chong” racial slur incident in New Jersey last month and the Papa John’s Lady Chink Eyes” incident involving a New York restaurant in January of 2012.
What is behind the rise of overt racial discrimination? Are incidents rising or just getting more attention?