Her 17-year-old son had ordered a pizza for $6.22 on Tuesday. But the Colorado mother got an unpleasant surprise when the pizza arrived.
Instead of her son’s name, she saw the N-word placed on the computer-generated receipt. She called Brother Jeff Fard, a community activist to ask for help, according to the Denver Post.
Papa John’s officials explained the employee of the Green Valley Ranch franchise was also a black man who knew the customer from high school. But the company still fired the employee.
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“This action is inexcusable and doesn’t reflect our company values. After an internal investigation, we identified the cause of the issue and the employee is no longer a member of the Papa John’s team,” Peter Collins, senior director of the company’s public relations branch, wrote to the Post. “We sincerely apologize for the insensitive behavior of this individual.”
Fard maintained to the Post that it was not acceptable, regardless of whether or not it was meant as a joke. It was in particular bad taste given the current atmosphere regarding police-involved shootings of black people, he said.
“It’s not just the word that is hurtful,” Fard said. “It’s the attitude.”
It’s not the first time Papa John’s has been criticized for racist incidents. A Korean-American ran into a similar incident in June when he ordered a pizza from a Papa John’s in Kentucky and saw “Ching Ching” on the order form in place of his name.
The involved employee was fired.
In 2013, a delivery man butt-dialed a customer after delivering a pizza and left a voicemail complaining about his tip while using racial slurs, according to ABC News.
The black customer posted the clip to YouTube and said he and his wife tipped 21 percent “as usual.”
“Yeah, they give me five bucks there — fine outstanding African-American gentleman of the community,” the delivery man can be heard saying in the call.
CEO John Schnatter personally apologized to the Florida couple and that employee was fired.