Applebees fired three employees who allegedly racially profiled two black customers at a Missouri restaurant.
Alexis Brison shared a video of the incident on Facebook, saying she and her friend were shopping at the Independence Center when they were interrupted by a police officer, a mall security guard and a restaurant manager.
The restaurant’s staff accused the two girls of eating and leaving without paying the night before, with the women denying it saying they were not at the restaurant the day before.
“We have not been here before. We’re just trying to enjoy our dinner,” Brison can be heard saying in the video, which she posted on Saturday.
After the police officer continued to ask them questions, even laughing at her friend’s sobs, Brison added, “This is what black people have to deal with.”
Brison posted the video writing, “This is a clear example of RACIAL PROFILING that should not be stood for.”
The video has been seen more than two million times on Facebook.
The company released a statement on Monday, saying, “We recognize the hurt and pain caused by the recent incident at an Applebee’s restaurant in Independence, Mo. We very much regret this occurred and sincerely apologize to our guests and community.”
— Applebee’s (@Applebees) February 12, 2018
“After an internal investigation and in line with our values, the franchisee terminated the manager, server and another employee involved in the incident,” it said.
Applebees explained the restaurant had been closed, writing, “We do not tolerate racism, bigotry or harassment of any nature, and we have taken additional steps to close the restaurant at this time in order for the team there to regroup, reflect, learn and grow from this.”
The company also said it was “reaching out to the guests involved to apologize directly.”
“We know rebuilding trust with those affected by the incident will take time, and we look forward to finding resolution in the coming days.”
Brison pointed out in her post that their accuser could not remember any defining characteristics about the women they believed did not pay for their meal.
“Our accuser remembered that there was a SKINNY girl and a girl who wore MAKEUP,” she wrote. “In 2018 is this really what we’re debased to? Our weight and whether or not we wore makeup. She could not recognize any facial features.”