Applebee’s fires 3 workers after alleged racially charged incident involving unpaid restaurant tab

A St. Louis woman and a friend dining at an Applebee’s was accused of leaving without paying the bill during a previous visit, known as “dine and dash,” which would cost three people their jobs.

Alexis Brison and a friend insisted that they had never been in the restaurant before and recorded the incident when approached by a police officer, a mall security officer and the restaurant manager.

As the cop spoke with them, Brison’s friend went into a full emotional meltdown, crying uncontrollable for several minutes.

Because the server making the allegation is white and Brison and her friend are black, Brison claimed that the incident was racially motivated. As seen in nearby Ferguson, in post-Obama America sometimes an allegation is all that is needed.

“This is a clear example of racial profiling that should not be stood for,” Brison wrote on Facebook afterwards, according to CBS Kansas City affiliate KCTV. “Just because we are black does not mean we are all criminals and I will not be treated as such.”

There’s nothing in the 9-minute video, which has been seen over 3 million times, that supports a claim of racial profiling and Brison offered nothing to corroborate her allegation.

Brison seemed to take exception to learning that the meal skipped out on consisted of chicken, which she capitalized in her Facebook post. She also said that “the manager stated that our accuser remembered that there was a SKINNY girl and a girl who wore MAKEUP.”

The women were allowed to leave after they paid their bill.

Applebee’s, which said it had no initial indication that the incident was race-related, according to KCTV, responded by firing three employees, to include the manager and server.

The company also temporarily closed the restaurant and apologized to the women:

“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. After an internal investigation and in-line with our values, the franchisee terminated the manager, server and another employee involved in the incident. 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. We are 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.”

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Tom Tillison


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