Last month, one Chinese mother’s posted a complaint on Facebook after allegedly being humiliated by an employee and a customer for her Chinese accent at a New York Dunkin’ Donuts.
The mother, Peiyin Shih, claimed she was at a Forest Hills, New York Dunkin’ Donuts when a staff member reportedly began to mock her Chinese accent by asking her multiple times to say the name of the donut she wanted, despite her pointing and saying which specific one she wanted several times.
Shih posted on Dunkin’ Donuts’ Facebook page on May 30:
“Hi, I went to this Dunkin Donuts located at 100-05 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, NY 11375 with my nanny & my one year old son today 5/30/2016 at 3:38pm. Besides juice & hot chocolate, we order Glazed chocolate donut. Staff Yaibur R. told me that I have to say the whole name of the donut. I point it to him & tell him that I want the “glazed chocolate donut” with a accent. He is like “What? What are you saying?” I point it again & say “that chocolate donut.” He does not even want to look & help me. He just look at me & say “you have to say the whole name of the donut.” I say why should I say the whole name. You already know what I want. You just want to make fun of me. He said you just have to say it in order to order it. I said I want to talk to your manager. He said you don’t have to see the manager. Manager is not here. You think he will be here all the time. He has home. Today is holiday. He has to go home. I say what is your name? He point his name tag & say “Here is my name. Do you know how to say it?” I insist to see the manager. Of course that staff ignore me. And then, this customer start to scream at me. When I start to use my phone to record, that Dunkin staff finally stop making fun of me. But this customer start to approach me & scream at me saying that he is going to take my phone away & throw it outside of window. I say don’t touch me. I am calling the police. The customer even say that I must be illegal. How humiliated. The staff is just standing there laughing. Doing nothing. I called the police. This guy keep making fun of me before he run away. He even call the police & tell them that i am just a Chinese lady who doesn’t like the Dunkin personnal’s attitude. Language violence? Discrimination? Bully the women with a children? Is this represent Dunkin Donus? This behavior of discrimination & arrogant is unacceptable.”
Dunkin’ Donuts responded within 30 minutes of Shih’s post where she also added a photo of the customer who threatened to take her phone:
Last week, the story went viral in Chinese social media and was also covered by mainland and Hong Kong news outlets.
Dunkin’ Donuts Facebook page has since been bombarded with article links from different outlets covering the story. AsAm News posted their cover of the story and received a response from Dunkin’ Donuts:
According to Dunkin’ Donuts, the franchisee has been notified of the incident, reached out to Shih “to resolve the matter” and the employee involved has been dismissed. Many commenters have since expressed outrage that the company has so far only directed blame away from themselves and failing to issue any kind of public apology.