Two Papa John’s employees in Sanford, Fla. were fired on Monday after they left a racist voicemail with one of their customers.
A delivery driver vented to a co-worker about a poor tip. The driver said, “I guess that’s the only requirement for being a [n-word] in Sanford. Yeah, they gave me five bucks there.–fine outstanding African-American gentleman of the community.”
The driver proceeded to go on a racist rant that included a n-word filled rendition of “Figaro”. However, he was unaware that his phone had been bumped, and the entire episode would be recorded.
The customer discovered the pleasant message on May 19. Four days later, he posted a video on Youtube. The offended customer wrote in the description, “This is highly offensive, derogatory, and ignorant…Everybody has a right to their opinions, however there is a time and place to express them. As an African-American in this community, and also someone who has always tipped their delivery drivers 21%+, I am disgusted entirely by this conversation. Instead of focusing on “better ingredients” and “better pizza”, they should prioritize “better integrity” and “better people” on top of their to-do list.”
Papa John’s Chairman and CEO John Schnatter issued an apology on the company’s Facebook page on Monday. Schnatter made it clear that he will not tolerate this type of behavior. Schnatter said in the statement, “Their thinking and actions defy both my personal and the company’s values, and everything for which this company stands. The employees responsible for this absolutely unacceptable behavior were immediately terminated.”
Schnatter may be sincere in his apology, but this is the second time now. According to Gawker, Papa John’s had to fire an employee in Brooklyn last year after an Asian-American woman received a receipt that said the order was for “Lady Chink Eyes”.
Obviously, the driver was in the wrong for making derogatory comments, but it turns out he may have been wrong about receiving a poor tip as well. According to the Huffington Post, the customer said in the video that the pizza cost $15.26, and he gave them a 21% tip. If the total was $15.26, then the extra five dollars the driver received would be a 32.7% tip. Not bad.
Another side note is that as ABC News pointed out, Sanford, Fla. is also the site of the Trayvon Martin shooting. This incident may be more of a Sanford problem than a Papa John’s problem.
And here’s the original video that sparked the outcry.