Customers leave Carrabba's waiter with anti-gay message instead of tip
41 Action News Staff , Mitch Weber
12:49 PM, Oct 25, 2013
10:31 PM, Oct 25, 2013
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - A waiter at a Carrabbas Italian Grill in Overland Park got a less-than-stellar tip after serving a couple this past week.
Instead of tip, the customers left an anti-gay message, including a homophobic slur, on the tip line.
The message read in part:
"Thank you for your service, it was excellent. That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to God. May God have mercy on you."
The incident has taken to social media, with thousands outraged over the message left on the tip line of the check.
We reached out to Carrabba's and they gave us this statement over the phone: "We do not tolerate discrimination from our employees or our guests. We embrace diversity and treating everyone with respect."
41 Action News is not identifying the waiter at his request through a friend.
Jason Coats is a friend of the server, and at one time, was even his teacher. When we asked Coats how the server was doing he replied, "Quite well. He's a resilient young man. "
When asked what he thought of the whole thing, Coats said, "It saddened me, of course, Personally, because I feel for the young man and know his work ethic, it hurt to see that somebody would say those things and shortchange him." He goes on to say, "As he [the server] pointed out in a conversation with me earlier today, however, it's a broader issue than just him. This type of reaction continues daily and affects many people. It is a reminder of the work that still remains to be done."
He continues, "Earlier he released a statement saying that he just wanted to continue doing his job and let his actions do the speaking, rather than make a statement. I think that's a pretty way accurate way of looking at this. The people who left him the note did more than comment on their personal beliefs—they chose to use them as a reason to deprive him of part of his living wage. One tip on one check is clearly not going to break the bank so to speak, but by saying that they couldn't tip him because he was gay, their message was that he didn't deserve to earn a living since tips are how servers earn the bulk of their wages," Coats said.