A restaurant in Auckland, New Zealand has been branded “racist” after referring to a group of customers as “Asians” on their receipt.
According to reports, a new waitress at The Falls Restaurant & Cafe used the label to identify the customers seated on a table with no number.
The incident on Sunday left one woman in the group enraged.
“This has never happened to me and I’ve been a regular at that restaurant for more than seven years,” she told Stuff.co.nz. “When I saw it, I said out loud ‘What’s up with this?’ and I know the waiters heard me but no one acknowledged the situation or apologised … they were totally avoiding us.”
The woman said that they went to the restaurant in West Auckland for coffee and drinks. Apparently, things went south when the group got their receipt.
“We laughed about it because we thought it was ridiculous,” she recalled. “It’s very disappointing to see that things like this still happen in New Zealand.”
She thought it was “incredibly racist.”
“As a group of ‘Asians’ born in this country, we were truly shocked at the restaurant for their incredibly racist service.”
In response, the restaurant acknowledged the mistake and blamed it on the waitress who happened to be “a newbie.”
“They had sat on an unnumbered random table,” manager Arvind Kumar told Stuff.co.nz. “It was a mistake by the waiter, she’s new and she should not have done that. We never do this and we will never do that again.”
In the absence of a table number, Kumar pointed out that it was restaurant policy to identify customers by name.
“Our restaurant was busy [and] the waiter didn’t want to disturb the group so she put that down. I agree it was wrong that she did that and after pointing it out, she was really apologetic.”
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, an unidentified male representative claimed that the waitress arrived from a rural town “up north” and just started employment. She underwent retraining after the incident.
“It’s a different area, not as sophisticated or advanced as Auckland,” he said. “She’s a newbie and we talked to her, retrained her, done an apology, we have given her a warning as well.”
“We do not believe in racism. On the contrary, we are being targeted by people calling us ‘curry munchers’ which we are thinking of taking action regarding,” the representative added. “We do not believe in any way in any discrimination in operations or towards customers. We do not practice racism in the business in employing staff or in any way towards customers.”
The incident sparked mixed reactions on social media. Some pointed out the restaurant’s mistake, but others came to defend the waitress.