Employees at two Smoothie King stores in Charlotte, North Carolina, are out of a job after adding racial epithets to customer receipts over the weekend. Now, the blended treats franchise is shuttering both stores until further notice.
Photos of the offending receipts were posted to social media, including one where an employee typed the n-word in the field for “customer name.” Both incidents reportedly occurred Sunday, according to Charlotte’s WSBT.
“Today, two instances happened in our Charlotte franchise stores that are totally unacceptable and go against every value that we stand for,” the company told the station in a statement. “Two of our team members wrote inappropriate, racial remarks about our guests.”
It continued: “We have zero tolerance for any action where a guest is disrespected, and we have taken immediate and decisive action.”
The company said it fired both workers and have closed both franchise stores until “the franchisees and their respective teams complete further training on our standards and to ensure that nothing like this occurs again.”
The first racist incident occurred Sunday afternoon at Smoothie King’s Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road location in Charlotte. A customer snapped a photo of the receipt showing “n—-r” printed as the patron’s name. The company initially said it was investigating the incident after the customer posted the damning photo on Twitter.
“[My] aunt just wanted a smoothie! the customer wrote. “This is ridiculous and sick.”
The second incident happened just hours later, at about 6:15 p.m. at the franchise’s Davis Lake Parkway, according to a photo of that receipt shared on Facebook. Customer Tony Choi, who is Korean, recalled his anger after realizing what was printed on his ticket.
“I was just in this Smoothie King with my kids. Instead of asking for my name. Zack H. thought it would be funny to put ‘Jackie Chan’ as my name,” Choi wrote in a Facebook post. “Being Korean, I find this very insulting. But the 3 employees working there at the time couldn’t stop laughing about it.”
Although he was “furious” Choi said he hid it so as “not let my young kids know what just happened.”
By Monday, yet another person had posted to Facebook saying they too had been victimized by the “prankster” Smoothie King workers, WSBT reported. The company said it has reached out to all persons involved “and expressed our sincerest apologies.”
Smoothie King added that it will continue its investigation of the incidents.
“This behavior does not in any way reflect our company’s commitment to creating an open and welcoming environment, and for that, we sincerely apologize,” it concluded.