After a viral video showed two emotionally distraught Black women being accused of skipping out on the bill at a Missouri Applebee’s, three employees involved in the incident have been fired.
In the video, posted by Alexis Brison, she and Asia Hardy were dining at an Applebee’s restaurant at Independence Mall on Saturday when they are approached by a police officer, a mall security guard and a manager, reported Fox 4.
The officers told the women one of the employees accused them of coming into the restaurant on the previous day and leaving without paying for their food.
“We have not been here!” Asia Hardy repeatedly exclaims to one officer.
According to the women, the employee’s description of the women who actually dined and dashed was vague and only included ethnicity and body size.
“We have not been here. We have not been here. We have not been here. I’m a student. I live on campus. I have not been here, like, I’ve been on duty at Rockhurst University,” Hardy tells the officer on the video.
When the women asked the officer if there was a way to view surveillance and prove that they were not the assailants, the officer tells them, “just relax.”
“This is too much of an accusation to call it nothing because we have not been here,” one woman said.
Eventually, the police officer tells the women that the restaurant manager decided he or she wants them to pay for their food, leave and not come back, which results in them growing very upset.
“We have not been here. Oh my God! We have not been here?” Hardy says again.
“Is she normally this emotional?” the officer asks.
As they grow more emotional, the officer then asks a follow-up: “Wow. Does she normally talk like this?”
In a statement released Monday evening, Applebee’s said the restaurant’s manager, a server and another employee involved in the incident have been terminated.
The company also said they are reaching out to the women to apologize and the Independence Center location is now temporarily closed “in order for the team there to regroup, reflect, learn and grow from this.”
Bill Georgas, Applebee’s CEO, Apple Central, LLC, Applebee’s local franchise, released the following statement about the video and restaurant policies:
“At Applebee’s, we do not tolerate racism or bigotry of any nature. We regret any incident like this, because we want every guest experience to be positive. Our team has been working throughout the weekend and will continue to work to determine what happened and what appropriate measures will be taken. We currently have no indications this was race related. We have a diverse workforce that is reflective of the community we serve. All are welcome at our restaurant, and will continue to be welcome.”