As if Chick-fil-A’s archaic approach to civil rights or its recent spat with a Vermont-based T-shirt designer weren’t enough to attract bad press and widespread ire, a new story is fast-tracking its way through the Internet that claims three UC Irvine students of Asian heritage went to a Chick-fil-A location in Orange County last week only to be insulted with racist stereotypes: The employee at the register reportedly never asked for their names, instead labeling two of the students with the terms “Ching” and “Chong” on their receipts. As much as we’d really like to think that this didn’t actually happen, the company tells us it did and offers Grub Street its official response.
Chick-fil-A corporate public relations head Jerry Johnston tells Grub Street the chain immediately addressed the incident and confirmed that the employee at this particular franchise was dismissed. In a formal statement, the company writes:
Please understand and accept our confirmation that the inappropriate, and unthinking behavior of a young team member at one of our restaurants does not support any claim or even suggestion of racism at our restaurant. The individual clearly violated our operating standards; the matter was addressed and discussed immediately with the guests on the spot; and a confirmation was provided that the employee was immediately dismissed for the individual behavior.
Our Chick-fil-A restaurant Operators and their employees try very hard every day to actually go the extra mile in serving ALL of our customers with honor, dignity and respect. The circumstances here are a simply case of immaturity, failed judgment, and human error….it has nothing to do with the service and operational standards of our Chick-fil-A restaurants which are consistently rated at the highest level of service in the foodservice industry.”
The timing for Chick-fil-A’s marketing arm probably couldn’t be much worse: The company recently rolled out a new campaign that asks people to share their most “unexpected” experiences at the store on the company’s blog. Is it remotely possible anyone could overshadow this latest gaffe?
Chick-fil-a Cashier Names Customers “Ching” and “Chong” [Angry Asian Man]
Related: Vermont Takes a Stand Against Chick-fil-A’s ‘Bullying’