Restaurant manager fired after needlessly calling cops on Black Sorority members

Composed by the staff of MUNCHIES.

Bahama Breeze Caribbean Restaurant’s aesthetic is the idea of ​​a Caribbean lifestyle restaurant chain, promising coconut-flavored “island time” for people who might feel overwhelmed by Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. In addition to Conch Fritters and Calypso Shrimp Linguine, a place has also been accused of serving casual racism.

Chante Spencer told Cleveland.com that a group of members of Delta Sigma Theta — a historically black sorority — had a reservation at the Bahama Breeze in Cleveland, Ohio to celebrate a woman’s book deal and her upcoming move to the Western coast. The sorority had made a reservation for 25 people, but about 40 showed up at the restaurant, making for a long evening, which grew even longer when the manager called the police to make sure a group of adult women paid their bills.

Spencer said after waiting nearly half an hour for her check, a woman said she was ready to leave the restaurant. Although the woman did not leave, the manager called the Orange Village Police Department to report them and ask an officer to stay behind until all of the women had paid. “The police were there to make sure everyone was paying, which we thought was racial profiling,” Spencer told the outlet, adding that the manager’s allegations that the women had caused “a disturbance” and used blasphemies were not true.

A police report confirms that all bills have been paid and that as soon as the officers arrived, a member of the group said she would ‘make sure all bills were accounted for’. The cops stayed on the scene for an hour, presumably nodding as each woman paid her bill, which seems like a great use of their time and taxpayer dollars.

“Hopefully Bahama Breeze will look at this very carefully and change the policies and do a little more training,” Spencer said. “You can’t assume people are going to commit a crime based on how they look.”

Bahama Breeze appears to have made at least one political decision: According to FOX 8, she has already fired the manager who called the police on a group of professional women. “We have clearly failed to provide excellent service to our guests. The manager involved no longer works for us because he mistreated a guest, which is against our values,” said Rich Jeffers, Senior Director of Communications of Bahama Breeze’s parent company, Darden Restaurants, in MUNCHIES “We have spoken with several party members to personally apologize and invite them to return to provide an exceptional Bahama Breeze experience.”

The following night, a group of protesters gathered in the street outside the restaurant, and Congresswoman Marcia Fudge issued a statement condemning the manager’s actions. “It is a chilling reminder that no African American is exempt from racial profiling when a group of professional women, known for their service and advocacy, are victimized,” she wrote. “As an African-American woman and a member of Delta Sigma Theta, I am appalled that this has happened in the district I represent.”

So much for that laid-back island aesthetic, huh?

About Vivian J. Smith

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