A restaurant in Queensland, Australia is facing backlash after its owner shared a photo of an order slip that referred to two customers as “very annoying Asians.”
Shay Hayston, who co-owns several eateries in the city of Brisbane, shared the photo on Snapchat last Saturday, writing “Omg I love my staff” along with three laughing emojis in the caption.
Instagram user @alex_carthos posted screenshots of exchanges between him and Hayston about the restaurant manager’s “unprofessional” and “inappropriate” behavior. During their conversations, Hayston sent messages such as “Oh give it a rest” and “It is just a joke.”
“I am very multicultural and have a lot of different ethnical friends. If you want to act like I’m a racist, you do you,” Hayston wrote. “I’m done with the gay drama from people like you!”
Subscribe to NextShark's Newsletter
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Hayston owns businesses such as Froth on Brunswick and The Stand, a popular LGBTQ+ venue. The order slip reportedly matched Froth’s menu.
Amid the backlash, Hayston released a statement saying that he wanted “to apologize for the offense and hurt caused.”
“I’ve been a business owner in the Valley for more than six years, personally and professionally invested in diversity. I’m deeply disappointed and embarrassed at my actions as they go against everything I pride myself on,” Hayston said, according to news.com.au.
“Internally, I and my team will do better to ensure we uphold the diversity and inclusivity that is at our core.”
Freddie Wintrip, the manager of The Stand — which shares space with Froth — also issued an apology over the incident. His venue “will be closed until a formal investigation within the company is completed and resolved.”
“Whilst this incident did not happen at The Stand nor were any of our beautiful performers, staff or patrons involved, it did not happen within our shared space. This behavior is truly unacceptable and I cannot condone it,” Wintrip wrote on Facebook.
The manager said that people involved in the incident have done “incredible things” for the community in the past, but they have made “a very ignorant mistake” this time.
“A mistake they must learn from, apologize and educate themselves on,” he added.
Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.
Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.
We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.