CORRECTION: The original version of this article listed an incorrect location of the Hickory Tavern where the fired server worked. He worked at the Sun Valley/Indian Trail Hickory Tavern.
Hickory Tavern confirmed on Tuesday that it fired a server who posted a customer’s receipt online on which the patron complained about the server being gay.
The restaurant chain said it offered the server his job back after interviewing him and learning he may not have understood the company’s confidentiality policy. The policy prohibits posting credit card receipts online.
“Our gay waiter made me wanna throw up my food!” the patron wrote on the Nov. 30 receipt at Hickory Tavern’s Sun Valley/Indian Trail location on Old Monroe Road. “Ruined my experience tongt. Will not be back!”
Another patron, Lucia Stetson, also posted a copy of the receipt on Facebook on Sunday, saying: “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.”
After the Observer emailed the restaurant chain on Tuesday to confirm the authenticity of the receipt and that the server had been fired, Hickory Tavern released a statement confirming the firing and that “insults” aimed at the server had been left on a receipt.
“We strongly condemn the insults directed at one of our team members in remarks left by a patron on their credit card receipt,” Hickory Tavern said. “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 of 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.”
By Tuesday night, Stetson’s post with a photo of the receipt had been shared 1,600 times.
“Won’t be going back there!” a man posted.
“This is SO sad and frustrating,” a woman wrote.