Outrage, Inc.

Waiter shares wincingly homophobic slur on receipt; restaurant fires waiter. Whuh?

Homophobic receipts? They’re an unfortunate trend, as you can see from some of our previous headlines:

Related: No Tip? IHOP Waitress Finds “Gay Is Wrong!” Written On Her Receipt

Related: Customer writes antigay slur on receipt instead of tipping

In the latest iteration of this troubling phenomenon, a North Carolina sports bar called Hickory Tavern, had an unusually poor response to a customer’s antigay rhetoric: They fired the waiter who was left the hateful receipt.

The patron wrote: “Our gay waiter made me wanna throw up my food! Ruined my experience tongt [sic]. Will not be back!”

Subsequently, the establishment canned the server — because he posted a photo of the receipt to Facebook.

That goes against the company’s confidentiality police. Or at least that’s the line they’re using.

Another customer also posted the receipt, writing, “A sweet young man was fired from his server job at Hickory Tavern after sharing a bigoted note left by a customer. Let’s help him find a new job.”

The Charlotte Observer reached out to the chain to ask if they had really fired the waiter.

“We strongly condemn the insults directed at one of our team members in remarks left by a patron on their credit card receipt,” Hickory Tavern said in a statement.

“We value diversity and do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation or for any other reason. We also value the privacy of our patrons, and posting of credit card receipts violates our confidentiality policy.

“Although the team member was initially terminated for violating this policy, after further discussions with the team member, we made the decision to offer his job back. We strive to strike the right balance between supporting our team members and protecting the private information of our guests.”

If he’s looking for a writing gig, this waiter should get in touch with us.

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  • Paco

    The customer’s dinner was ruined because the server was too effeminate? Sounds like a personal issue to me. And that would have been my response if I were the manager and the chicken-sh*t customer would have had the nerve to complain in person.

  • Mandrake

    Waiters, teachers, police, politicians, nurses….. How many of them have been fired and relieved of duty from what they’ve posted on Facebook or tweeted on Twitter? When are they all going to smarten up that you don’t post anything that everybody can’t read, including your boss?

    • DCguy

      Except for the fact that right in the article it states that the company rescinded the firing. But nice try.

    • Mandrake

      To DCguy who commented under me: I read that too, but that doesn’t refute my point. But nice try.

    • AxelDC

      DCGuy: the waiter was offered his job back after public protest. Without the Internet, he would have been sacked for being gay because of a homophobic customer, and only his close friends would have known.

    • marq

      Though he wasn’t fired because he is gay. He was fired for posting a customer’s credit card receipt online. People who claim to have been fired because of their race, gender or sexuality but who have actually been fired for not doing their jobs are just as bad as racists, and homophobes.

    • Zombiez8mybrain

      AxelDC: Actually, without the internet, he wouldn’t have even been fired, since he wouldn’t have been posting on Facebook.

    • Bryguyf69

      Agreed. It was stupid to post the receipt. Even his supporters have admitted that. And the server clearly regretted the post, which is why he removed it. Making such a post was reckless because many employers now search the internet before hiring. Seeing such a post would deter many employers from hiring him. Although I work in a VERY gay-friendly environment (HIV and sexuality research), we would’ve definitely had reservations about a potential employee if we saw that. Millennials need to learn that not all information is meant to be shared.

  • baal61

    Are you kidding me? The Management should have stepped in’ and banned the customer’ my sis has the permission in the bar she works serving’ to refuse service and send patrons packing if they insult staff’ that’s in avery well known’ ” Holsome National park. ” Suit the company!

    • Kinsey6

      I completely agree. Ban the homophobic knuckle-dragging troglodyte from ever coming back… don’t fire the waiter who did nothing wrong.

  • NateOcean

    What a bullshit excuse.

    The receipt photo has NO Personally Identifiable Information about the CUSTOMER.

    However, it clearly identifies the RESTAURANT, which is the real reason they fired him.

    • Bryguyf69

      While I agree with your sentiments, keep in mind that that the receipts belong to the restaurant not the server. As such, be was publishing financial records and internal documents without permission. Most companies have a similar policy. I, for example, would certainly be disciplined (although not fired), if I posted an official document showing how much we spend on office supplies — even if I blacked out the vendor. Fact is, most companies want to avoid controversies of any kind and they certainly don’t want potential evidence to be publicly displayed. This receipt, for example, can be used by both homophobes and gays as part of a lawsuit or negative publicity campaign.

      As for the firing, it was unduly harsh, but likely the result of a lazy manager, and not homophobia. Zero tolerance policies are enforced by managers who don’t want to take the time to investigate a violation. If you violate the letter of a policy, you’re gone — especially if you’re expendable and easily replaced.

      From what I understand, the company also has a policy protecting LGBTs, which is not common in the South (nearby Charlotte faced intense protest when they tried to enact such protections). Therefore, I accept their statement and reversal as sincere. Unless the company, that specific restaurant or management has a proven record of homophobia, I see no reason to believe otherwise. Here is how the Charlotte Observer reported it: “The restaurant chain said it offered the server his job back after interviewing him and learning he may not have understood the company’s confidentiality policy. The policy prohibits posting credit card receipts online.”

      Was the reversal purely a business (to avoid bad publicity) and not moral decision? Perhaps, but again, he did violate their policy so the company would’ve won any lawsuit (assuming no additional evidence of homophobia). Furthermore, being Southern-based, the chain probably would not have lost any business. From what I understand, the server did not suffer any disciplinary action besides being told of the company’s policy.

    • Bryguyf69

      Whether there was identifiable info on the receipt is unclear. From what I understand, the widely circulated image Queerty and others have used is from the Charlotte Observer. It could’ve been the newspaper that redacted and cropped the image before they published it. Indeed, that seems likely as the image crops the homophobic sentence — something the server probably wouldn’t have done (since his goal was to show the homophobia). I don’t know how the original image looked because the server has wisely removed it from his social media.

  • imaqt2

    Restaurant has every right to fire him. You can’t post that to social media. They’re response was perfect and their efforts to offer his job back was rare for a company. Why Queerty is trying to see past company policies and trying to anger gays to create drama and negativity is pretty sad. It’s like they want to make us feel were hated by everyone

    • carver.robertd


    • Mandrake

      I totally agree with you! Read my comment above.

    • thealexofevil

      Why can’t you? There’s literally no personally identifiable information on the receipt.

    • kevin57

      How much did Putin pay you to post this?

    • Bryguyf69

      Whether there was identifiable info on the receipt is unclear. From what I understand, the widely circulated image Queerty and others have used is from the Charlotte Observer. It could’ve been the newspaper that redacted and cropped the image before they published it. Indeed, that seems likely as the image crops the homophobic sentence — something the server probably wouldn’t have done (since his goal was to show the homophobia). I don’t know how the original image looked because the server has wisely removed it from his social media.

    • Brian

      I absolutely agree. Every company these days has a social media policy, and I’m sure they all pretty much say you are not allowed to make the company look bad on social media. And at this point, it’s just common sense, we’ve all heard about a gazillion people getting fired for doing stuff like this.

      Plus, there have been a lot of these types of “homophobic” stories that have turned out to be made up by the victim. Just off the top of my head, I remember some guy with a cake, a lesbian waitress, and a guy who posted pics of his gay bashed face, all of who turned out to have lied. So I no longer assume any of these stories are true.

      And really, why is this a news story anyway? Jerks exist in the world and homophobes exist in the world and sometimes they overlap. Most of us have had worse stuff than this said to our face. It’s no big deal, you feel insulted, you get on with your life. This guy is either a liar or a crybaby, and I have zero patience for either.

    • scotshot


      No big deal, huh? Just sit there and take it, I’m sure Trump and his associates will take care of us.

      Did they let you out of the old Troll home to write this comment?

      You are not welcome on this site with decent people.

    • Brian

      No it is not a big deal. I fail to understand how posting it on the internet and getting yourself fired is a better option than just shaking it off and getting on with your life like a big boy.

  • DCguy

    Prepare for Mo Bros screenames to come in and try to defend the bigots and attack the waiter.

    • Rex Huskey

      DCGurl, you know there has to be more to this story.

      Come on honey……you really do need to forgive mo for giving you that STD

  • carver.robertd

    Let’s just hope the next time the person who left the homophobic comment on the check goes to the restaurant he gets a bone caught in his throat and no one administers the Heimlich maneuver!

    • Bryguyf69

      “gets a bone caught in his throat…”

      Oh my. Learn to suppress that gag reflex and all will be fine… :)

      More seriously, the true indicator of a homophobe is one who’d refuse mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from someone of the same sex. Now that would be poetic justice!

  • dfwenigma

    I was in South Carolina recently – not North Carolina – but same region – different state of course. I find this incident to be very, very sad. It illustrates the sheer hatred that LGBTQ people must suffer in the workplace. Sadly the rhetoric is turned up several notches because of the general air created by President Trump and the GOP. They have provided the firewood for this menace and as if things weren’t bad enough – they’ve poured kerosene on it. This server should never have had to tolerate this. They should have felt fully supported by their management. The manager should have approached the patron and banned them from returning, apologized to the server and made sure the staff was 100% in support of them. What a horrible, horrible commentary on the state of dischord in our great nation. We are better than this America. We have room in our hearts and souls for all people.

    • Paco

      Agreed. The only reason that customer complained was because they wanted that server to be fired for being gay. What other reason could there be to even make such a complaint? This is exactly the type of thing the supporters of “Religious Freedom” bills want to happen.

    • Bearinphx

      I think people should boycott this establishment. When they see how it affects their profits maybe they will pay more attention. Gay people have money……Establishments are interested in money. I don’t live in that region of the USA but I do travel in that area often. I have my money stamped that reads GAY MONEY…and it’s NEVER EVER been refused by any one in that region. Funny isn’t it? They sure as hell don’t have a problem accepting my money.

    • scotshot

      Add the fact that we do have many Hetero friends out there that support us. Thankfully not all Heteros are like Trump Moore.

  • Nightman

    If a person makes any type of statement in public, then its in the public domain, & can be distributed through other public domains. A bar is a public place, that’s why they are referred to as “Pubs”. Many ppl have learned this lesson the hard way, usually politicians. I have enormous empathy for the waiter, being abused by the patron, then again by the employer. This is clearly a human rights violation by the patron & the bar. I’d sue the Hell out of both of them.

    • Bearinphx

      I agree with you. I’d sue the hell out of both the customer and the establishment if I were the waiter. I had a similar experience with a customer and the company I worked for. I informed my supervisor that I would sue the living hell out of the patron, and then the company, faster than Tiny Tim could eat a Christmas Ham. They backed off so fast your head would spin.

    • Bryguyf69

      You’d sue on what grounds? The policy exists. He violated it. It’s as simple as that. Unless you can show a history of discrimination by the company, this specific restaurant or it’s management, there is no lawsuit. His supporters admit that he made a mistake. Even the friend who re-posted the image never says that he was fired unfairly or asked for any retribution against the restaurant.

  • BCBinOHP

    The waiter should have tried to resolve this before posting to Facebook. He still got his job back despite his immature move. What happens in the workplace stays in the workplace – it’s in 100% of company/employee handbooks.

    As for the client, the management should make sure they are aware such nonsense won’t be tolerated. Either warn them or ban them. I wouldn’t want bigots in my pub, period .

    • scotshot

      I’m sure those same exact policies are in Michael’s handbooks.

  • Luna1979

    I had a very effeminate waiter who worked for me back in 2005. He ended up waiting on some university jocks who mocked him while he was at their table then trashed him when he walked away. I was in the next booth catching up on some paperwork. One of these bastards knocked his drink over onto my server then started screaming what a clumsy idiot he was. Chris was close to tears and i was ready to kill all 3 of them. I popped up behind them in my booth and screamed my lungs out, cursing them every which way. The idiots said they still wanted their effin tacos and i really thought i might punch one. I told them to leave and that Chris and I would be eating their dinners. It didn’t hurt my business a bit.

    • Heywood Jablowme


    • Buie

      Yay! Good for you!

    • kevin57

      Thumbs up!

    • Bearinphx

      BRAVO for you, for standing up in defense of your employee. I’d work for you any day of the week. You are the type of boss EVERYONE needs. This employee will probably never forget what you did for him, and will carry that with him the rest of his life. GOD BLESS YOU!!!!

  • jsmu

    Add this pile of steaming excrement of a ‘tavern’ to your blacklist. Cretinous homophobe enablers.

  • Hussain-TheCanadian

    Even if the name of the Tavern is shown on the receipt, why is that a firing offence?

  • Buie

    The customer who wrote that note was seeing in that waiter that which he hates about himself; another deeply closeted, self-loathing homosexual.

    • Tête Carrée

      Arm chair psychologist or rather another repetition of an old tired cliché. Of course all homophobes are homosexuals. Such evil, evil f*ked up stereotyped losers. Heterosexuals are all such nice open minded people who never think of themselves first.

  • robert_pavlick

    In all fairness, some of the hostility has been brought on gay men, like myself, by the GLBTQ Community’s pushing for legislation that would punish people for using wrong pronouns and gender terminology or otherwise even looking oddly at either overtly gay men or really ugly transgendered people who do not look at all like women at all, but feel safe going out in public in really bad drag.

    Even as a gay man, I and my friends will chuckle or roll our eyes to one another when we encounter a gay male waiter who is a real “Nellie” (Our terms, not straight terminology). So you can imagine how some macho at a Sport Bar would feel if the waiter is more feminine than his girlfriend. Of course, that does not excuse rude comments or rude behavior toward the server, but it does make for an uncomfortable situation. And nowadays, the hetero is AFRAID to giggle or smirk about it for fear of being thrown out of the restaurant himself, or worse yet, prosecuted for “anti-gay behavior”.

    There is no simple solution to the problem. People will always find feminine acting men and masculine acting women, comical; even Middle of the Road gays find them comical. But nowadays, the added fear placed on hetero’s of THEM not acting properly around gays, is heightening the frustration, which then turns to anger.

    • Paco

      If you or anyone feels uncomfortable having an effeminate man serving their food, it is not the effeminate server’s problem. 8t’s the problem of the person who is having irrational feelings about it.

      I hope you aren’t suggesting that effeminate men should be fired so the business won’t lose money from bigots.

      There is a simple solution… get some therapy for that fragile masculinity that is threatened by the presence of effeminate men.

    • SiamSam

      Oh. Em. Jee. Not putting “L” first is a mysoginistic lesbophobic hate crime. Gender equality but ladies first! Expect a visit from your friendly local SWAT team for your thoughtcrime in 3, 2, 1…

    • dwes09

      “There is no simple solution to the problem. ”
      There is a very simple solution to the problem, but as a huge part of the problem you cannot see it. It is twofold:
      1. People need to understand that they are not the arbiters of what is appropriate for others in terms of gender expression and personal style.
      2.People need to understand that they will get called on their prejudice and put in their place.

      Your comment sounds as if you are mourning the loss of entitled heterosexuals who can mock gay men at will, as is that is the normal and natural way. And your comments regarding “really ugly trans-gendered people” etc. are totally out of line! Nobody should be subject to abuse or ridicule because they do not meet your standards of beauty or behavior.

      If heteros and “macho” men are becoming afraid to laugh at or mock men who do not conform to their gender expectations GOOD! Maybe that will make our public spaces safer, more human and more entertaining in a real sense. Maybe there is a lesson here for judgmental older corpulent queens. The notion that rightly we bring hostility on ourselves by arguing for basic human respect and safety in the streets is odd and not a little self hating.

    • Brian

      What Robert is saying is reality. People make fun of strangers behind their backs ALL THE TIME. For a bunch of reasons, including being gay, Christian, shopping at Wal Mart, bring a f**king hipster, and a million other reasons. No, it’s not nice, but we all do it, and we are all always going to do it. There is a reason gay men have the stereotype of being bitchy, we are certainly as guilty as anyone else. And if you’re not doing it to somebody’s face then it’s nobody else’s business. People are allowed to have private conversations and be a**holes if they want to be.

    • Paco

      @Brian, snickering with your friends behind a person’s back is different than degrading who they are while they are doing nothing except their job. The ball-less bigot (male or female) told the restaurant, via scribbling on a receipt, they would be losing business because they hired a gay man to wait tables. The only reason someone would even make such a complaint would be with the hope the restaurant would feel threatened enough from the loss of a returning customer to fire the waiter.

    • scotshot

      As one who is on the other side of 60 I’m ashamed that throwbacks such as you are still out there spreading your self hatred towards all LGBTQs.

      How sad to go through life without learning anything about themselves and others.

    • Brian

      Yes Paco, it absolutely is different. Which is why I wondered why your response to Robert’s comment about chuckling about queeny waiters was “I hope you aren’t suggesting that effeminate men should be fired so the business won’t lose money from bigots.” Maybe try responding to what he actually said, instead of twisting his words to fit your agenda?

    • Paco

      @Brian – What “agenda” would that be? I simply refuse to make excuses for anti gay bigots and their self-loathing gay allies. My response to @robert_patrick wasn’t about chuckling at “queeny” waiters behind their back. It was about his defense of the poor frightened straight bigots that don’t know how to behave themselves around gay men and refuse to treat them as a fellow humans. As if it is the gay person’s fault the bigot is uncomfortable and angry.

  • silveroracle

    Do you know what?
    This is 2017 and these things should not be happening.

  • steve3885

    Why is everybody pissing and moaning???? It’ FUC*KIN* North Carolina… I lived there from 12/15/1975 and left in 10/09/1979… It was even worse back then… I dated a black girl… That was before I choose to be gay…. We went to Red Lobster and they refused to serve us… We were both Captains in the Air Force… The following day we went to the Wing Commander… He sent out a letter to all of the squadrons… Advising that everyone was to immediately stop going to Red Lobster… The United States Air Force does not allow discrimination in any form… Red Lobster was closed within 45 days…

    • Buie

      Yay USAF!

  • Bryguyf69

    “gets a bone caught in his throat…”

    Oh my. Learn to suppress that gag reflex and all will be fine… :)

    More seriously, the true indicator of a homophobe is one who’d refuse mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from someone of the same sex. Now that would be poetic justice!

  • mhoffman953

    I’m skeptical when I hear these stories anymore based on similar events happening which turned out to be false.

    For example the Dairy Queen that didn’t serve two men because they were gay turned out to be false: http://www.newnownext.com/dairy-queen-gay-discrimination/09/2017/

    A waitress who said a family wrote a homophobic message on their receipt turned out to be false: http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/waitress_in_anti-gay_receipt_controversy_refunds_donations_leaves_job.html

    And that guy who said a bakery worker in Whole Foods wrote a gay slur on his cake was false too: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/05/16/gay-pastor-admits-he-faked-homophobic-slur-on-whole-foods-cake

    It is terrible if this really did happen though and there is no excuse for that to happen in a restaurant.

    • SiamSam

      Thank you for saving my fingers. A lot of other “hate crimes” that have mushroomed in “Trump’s Amerikkka” have been self-submitted and unverified reports online, not verified or investigated by police. Basically, nowadays anyone can just scream “Hate crime!” and the accusation becomes the evidence. Scary times…

    • dwes09

      The figures regarding the increase in hate crimes of late are from the Justice Department. They are from verified incidents. None of the figures come from people ‘crying “Hate Crime!” and the accusation becoming the evidence.’

      What is truly scary about these times is regressives who not only find it difficult to separate their imagination and assumptions from reality, but who also feel entitled to act on there assumptions and prejudices as if they were not a pathology.

    • scotshot

      Always expect to hear from the Heteros…

  • He BGB

    I’m seeing a lot of NC car tags here (ATLANTA) lately. I mean, ALOT. In droves due to the homophobia in nc. But the mayoral race was very racist. A black news anchor was called the n word on live tv by a viewer and she told the viewers full name in her online response. I guess the station doesn’t have a viewer privacy policy like that restaurant had a customer privacy policy

  • Bryguyf69

    As usual, Queerty’s reporting is incomplete. For a better picture of the situation, read the following. For example, the person who re-posted the receipt was friend from their theater group and not just another customer. They also show the entire receipt, not the cropped version (although it’s unclear whether the redaction was done by the server or the friend. This is crucial because showing the homophobe’s signature is definitely a violation). And they concluded, seemingly without evidence, that the server rejected the offer to rehire him.


    • KaiserVonScheiss

      I can’t really blame him for not wanting to go back to work there, if that’s true. It’s ridiculous the way some companies let customers walk all over employees. There’s a difference between good customer service and allowing people to just completely disrespectful to employees. It’s just common decency.

      I understand the rational behind firing him, but given the situation, it would have been better to have given him a warning or something about not posting stuff like that online.

  • SiamSam

    @dwes09 Obviously the “hate crimes” covered by the media are not all verified or factchecked, as evidenced by the number documented in this comments section that turned out to false, fake, fabricated.

    What I find interesting is when men’s rights activists also use statistics from the FBI and other reliable sources that reveal men are nearly as victimized by intimate partner violence as women, or often suffer some social inequities or injustice disproportionately more than women (e.g. homelessness, suicide, incarceration rates), suddenly it’s “male tears” and “masculinity so fragile” and we can just completely dismiss or ignore these data, because “patriarchy” or “toxic masculinity.” Essentially, victim blaming. Facts, research, data, evidence, all safely erased from the conversation, it’s all about feewings and who’s more oppwessed. The double standard is sickening to any fair-minded person of any sexual orientation genuinely interested in promoting justice and equality and fighting bigotry in all its forms.

  • IanHunter

    Why post the receipt? I know how narrow minded people are. It used to be that when we served someone they got AIDS. I just don’t understand the hate that is going on here. If you just say that you are a victim of a hateful patron, you can get out of your job as a gay or a straight man. It sounds like he just wanted to get a Government check. Sorry, I don’t believe this.

    • scotshot

      Have you seen the amount of an unemployment check based on a server’s hourly wage of $2.13 the restaurant pays? Tips aren’t included in unemployment amounts.

      Sorry that that amount seems extravagant to you.

  • chris33133

    A customer has every right not to leave a tip. That is why I think restaurants should pay their staffs a living wage.

    However, no one has the right to insult an employee of any establishment.

    The restaurant should ban those customers.

  • Keith

    Tell the customer to take a hike. No business needs some psycho-loser causing disruption in the staff. Some people need to get thrown out to gain an appreciation for manners.

  • Scorpjr

    One minor point here. Presumably, the customer wrote on his own reciept, then left it for the waiter to find. At that point, it would be considered “thrown away”. Anyone finding it would legally be the new owner, and could do whatever they wanted with it.

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