Applebee’s fires 3 employees after racial profiling incident

Photo: Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images
Photo: Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images

Applebee’s has apologized for a recent event in which two black patrons were falsely accused of running out on their bill the night before. The altercation took place at an Applebee’s restaurant in Independence, Missouri.


The two women came in to have a meal at the Applebee’s after shopping, and were accused of running out on their bill the previous evening. The women maintained that they had not been in the restaurant on that night, but nevertheless subsequently had to deal with questions by the restaurant manager and a mall cop. In a video that went viral, one of the women is understandably upset and crying, while her friend says that this is what “black people have to deal with.” They are told to “go ahead and pay your bill and leave and not come back.” One of the women, Alexis Brison, posted the entire encounter on Facebook:

USA Today reports that by Tuesday morning, the video “had an estimated 2.9 million views and had been shared more than 64,000 times.” Since then, “the manager, the server and another employee involved were fired, and Applebee’s is reaching out to the pair of friends to apologize directly… Brison said that Applebee’s later told them that a staffer had remembered ‘a skinny girl’ and ‘a girl who wore makeup’ had failed to pay their tab.” The restaurant is currently closed.

The chain pinned this announcement to its Twitter account:

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.


As far as action taken and apologies go, this seems like a decent example of how it should be done, especially being that the restaurant is closed right now.

Only time will tell if this was just good PR, but it’s nice to see a real apology instead of a “we’re sorry IF our actions offended anyone, inconvenienced anyone, etc.”