A Huntington Beach, California restaurant is being accused of racial discrimination for charging a group of Asian Americans $1,500 for a table while other Caucasian guests did not have to pay a minimum table charge.
The issue was brought to the public’s attention by Instagram user Shyanne Phan (via Anne Phung) when she posted an Story claiming the restaurant Tanner’s subjected them to unfair treatment by charging them $1,500 just to get a table.
In her post, which can also be seen in her Yelp review, Phan said she and her group of five were seated in the back of the restaurant. Her group then asked if they could move to one of the four available tables at the front but was told the tables were unavailable.
“When we told them we’d order a bottle they said that we can sit there but only if we spend a $1500 minimum,” she said. “We agreed, but when moved to the front I couldn’t help but notice that no table around us seemed to be paying any minimum. Every person had one or two cocktails. I shrugged it off.”
After moving, the group asked again to move to another table to avoid the sunlight but noticed a Caucasian couple was put on the same unavailable table that has a minimum of $1,500.
“They ordered one beer, one cocktail and a basket of fries,” she said. “That’s when I knew something was not right and something had to be said. We asked to speak to the manager.”
Phan confronted the manager for blatant discrimination for being Asian. The man said his feelings were hurt with what Phan said, further explaining that table minimum varies and that all tables in the restaurant have a minimum.
“It was very obvious that no one else had a table minimum and he wasn’t going to admit that,” she said in her post. “We let it go. The couple from our previous table even told us they had no table minimum.”
Tanner’s issued a statement after the incident reached the public’s attention.
In her response, Phan said no one skipped the lines and they waited like everyone else.
“They seated us in the back far back first. When we asked for a better table they only gave it to us if we agreed to pay a minimum even though there were so many empty tables,” she said.
“If you had five empty tables, is it really peak times?” Phan said, adding, “I would hardly say it was the most popular table.”
Feature Image via @tannershb