The manager of a Subway shop in New Orleans allegedly yelled obscenities at two college students who attempted to buy a sandwich for a homeless man they met in the French Quarter.
Chelsea Brentzel, 21, of the University of Alabama and her friend were in town for The Sugar Bowl. Brentzel said they met a homeless man before walking into the Subway on 112 Royal Street on Jan. 2.
The two girls took the man to Subway to buy him a meal.
Brentzel told the Times-Picayune a man behind the counter of the store yelled at her three times.
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"Why are you buying that son of a bitch food?" she recalled the man shouting. "He doesn't deserve to eat!"
She assumed he was a manager because he was wearing different clothes than the other employees.
“Three customers who had already ordered complained to him about the way he was treating the homeless man and about his foul language and walked out on their orders,” Brentzel wrote in a Change.org petition asking Subway to feed the homeless in New Orleans for a day.
Brentzel said she called Subway’s corporate phone number on Jan. 3 and left a complaint. The representative told her she would hear back in 24 hours, but no one ever called her.
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“I called back on Monday, January 6th and complained again,” she wrote. “My original complaint was still on file and I was told it would be submitted again and I would be contacted within 48 hours. I did not receive a call from anyone from Subway so again today I called them After discussing the complaint again with a CSR and wanting to speak to someone higher up in the Subway Corporation I was told no one was in today but I could leave a voicemail for a supervisor.”
“I feel this was discrimination against this homeless man and myself,” she continued. “I was humiliated for him and embarrassed that a human being could be so cruel. I want Subway to take a day to feed the homeless of New Orleans. There is no excuse for this behavior and they need to make it right.”
She quoted the store’s motto on its website, “Our People, Our Communities.”
The petition has 385 signatures.
Randy Dobbs, the store’s manager, says he is sorry if he offended the girls. He said he ran into the man earlier in the day and he claimed to be a veteran who wanted some food. When Dobbs ignored him, he said the man called him a “son of a bitch.”
She says she told the homeless man, "People are going to be mean and you need to somehow find kindness in your heart."
He told her he hates being invisible.
"It's one thing for them to say no to me," he reportedly said. "It's another thing to just pretend I'm not there."
Paul Patel, of Tennessee, the co-owner of the Subway franchise, told Brentzel over the phone that he wants to make thing right. He said he’d give two party platters, which only feeds up to 20 people, to the homeless.
She felt the franchise could do better.
"If they really cared," she said, "they would do more about the situation."
A Subway franchise in Frankfort, Ky., gave away six-inch subs to homeless people every Friday for three months, from November 2012 to January 2013. The owner of that franchise shares the same name as the owner of the New Orleans franchise – Andy Patel.