Smoothie King has fired two employees and temporarily closed two of its Charlotte locations after customers shared receipts showing their names replaced with racist language.
On Sunday afternoon, a social media photo began circulating showing a customer’s name displayed as the n-word on a receipt at the Smoothie King along Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road.
Word spread quickly, catching the attention of District 38 State Sen. Mujtaba Mohammed, who represents the district where the Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road store is located. He said that he was upset “anyone in Charlotte would feel okay doing this.”
“To put it mildly. I am upset that Caleb or anyone in Charlotte would feel okay doing this. I am burdened by the path & process @SmoothieKing & their staff have chosen to take and at the end of the day, we all want to be treated with respect & dignity. That is not too much to ask.”
The company responded, saying the employee had been fired and that companyofficials were investigating the incident. Mohammed said he plans to meet with the store manager on Monday.
Later that day, a similar incident occurred at the Smoothie King store located at 8439 Davis Lake Parkway. Facebook user Tony Choi posted a photo of his receipt where his name was listed as “Jackie Chan.” Choi, who is Korean, wrote in part, “Today, I left this store furious on the inside, trying to not let my young kids know what just happened.”
According to the company, that employee was also terminated.
On Sunday night, Smoothie King CEO Wan Kim released a statement regarding the two incidents:
“Today, two instances happened in our Charlotte franchise stores that are totally unacceptable and go against every value that we stand for. Two of our team members wrote inappropriate, racial remarks about our guests. We have zero tolerance for any action where a guest is disrespected, and we have taken immediate and decisive action.
“As of tonight, both team members involved have been terminated. Both stores will be closed until the franchisees and their respective teams complete further training on our standards and to ensure that nothing like this occurs again. Additionally, we are continuing our investigation to insure that any individuals involved in these situations have been terminated.
“This behavior does not in any way reflect our company’s commitment to creating an open and welcoming environment, and for that we sincerely apologize. Our senior management team is taking additional steps to reinforce and retrain all of our franchisee and store-level employees of our inclusivity policies and best practices.”