Racist Receipt at Red Lobster Prompts Glut of Amateur Internet Sleuthing

Not again.
Not again.

Over the weekend, a server at a Tennessee Red Lobster posted an image of a receipt from the restaurant to Facebook that had a nasty racial slur where the tip should have been (the uncensored version is here). Predictably, the Internet erupted, as is now par for the course in our cowardly new world of racist (or just hateful!) receipts; this time, however, the uproar was not at all on 19-year-old Toni Jenkins’s behalf. Because everyone likes to play detective, Reddit users immediately called Jenkins and the receipt’s authenticity into question, pointing out words written with different colored pens, and then some.

One commenter claimed the penmanship of the slur didn’t match that of the signature, writing Jenkins off as a disgruntled waitress who forged the comment after not receiving a tip. Meanwhile, other gumshoes claim the alleged racist’s name on the circulated photo matches that of a commenter who deemed it a fake on a Red Lobster Facebook page. Finally, the chain’s spokesperson says the company is “extremely disturbed” by the incident, but it also seems not wholly convinced by the authenticity of the paperwork: Jenkins has been suspended with pay pending investigation.

All of this is to say that it’s unclear what Jenkins stood to gain from forging the receipt and there’s a big mess at a Red Lobster in Tennessee. The forensic scrutiny, with its associated media attention and no clear conclusion, is maybe grounds for yet another good argument that tipping should just be abolished outright, after all.

Red Lobster “Extremely Disturbed” By Reports Of Racist Comment On Server’s Receipt
Related: The Tipping Backlash Goes Big