A waiter at a North Carolina sports bar was fired after he posted a photo of a customer's bill showing the diner's handwritten anti-gay message.
Hickory Tavern, a chain with locations across North and South Carolina, confirmed the waiter's firing in a statement to The Charlotte Observer, saying he was fired because he violated the company's confidentiality policy by posting a customer's receipt online. The posted photo does not show the customer's name, but does include the last four digits of their credit card number.
"Our gay waiter made me wanna throw up my food!" read the message left by the customer. "Ruined my experience tongt. Will not be back!"
In its statement, Hickory Tavern condemned the message and said it had decided to offer the waiter his job back after management determined he may not have known about the confidentiality policy:
We strongly condemn the insults directed at one of our team members in remarks left by a patron on their credit card receipt. We value diversity and do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation or for any other reason. We also value the privacy of our patrons, and posting credit card receipts violates our confidentiality policy. Although the team member was initially terminated for violating this policy, after further discussions with the team member, we made the decision to offer his job back. We strive to strike the right balance between supporting our team members and protecting the private information of our guests.
It is unclear if the waiter accepted the restaurant's offer to return.
The waiter's name was not released and it appears his initial post was taken down. But a woman identifying herself as a friend of the server also posted the photo on her Facebook account.
"OK friends," Lucia Stetson wrote on Facebook. " A sweet young man was fired from his server job at Hickory Tavern after sharing a bigoted note left by a customer. Let's help him find a new job."
Stetson's post from Dec. 3 has been shared more than 2,200 times in a week.
"Horrible," wrote one commenter on Stetson's post. "The restaurant should have banned that customer...not the other way around. Horrible. I hope he finds a new and better job."
"Used to work there and sure as hell would've poured some classic HT sweet tea over that customers not so sweet head," wrote another.
Other commenters were quick to offer their help in getting the man a new job, asking for his resume or promising their recommendation.