PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — A Round Rock man says he was discriminated against at the Dairy Queen restaurant on Pecan Street in Pflugerville because of his sexuality.
Richard Jones claims he and his partner stopped at the restaurant for lunch Thursday, ordered, then after waiting for their food for nearly 30 minutes, a cashier told them the manager didn’t want to serve them because they were gay. Jones said while they were waiting for their food, other customers who had ordered after them received their food before they did.
“I simply took my receipt up to the register and asked the cashier, ‘Did you remember our order? Did you forget our order'” Jones recalled. “He looked at the receipt and said ‘I’m sorry’ as tears ran down his face and said ‘I’m sorry there was a problem with your order.'”
From there, the cashier told KXAN he made the choice to refund Jones’s money. “I said ‘here’s [sic] your receipts,'” said the cashier, “I said ‘there’s an issue, the manager’s discriminating against gays.'”
Both Jones and the cashier say the manager was in the back cooking burgers at the time of their conversation.
“I sat there in shock,” Jones said. “I said, ‘Well are you kidding me? May I ask to speak to the manager who has this issue with me?’ And about that time the manager raises a Hunger Buster cheeseburger over the food line, screaming at me, ‘Just calm down, just calm down! You’ll get your food, you’ll get your food, you’ll get your order,’ as he shook the cheeseburger at me.”
Jones says he and his partner were eventually served their food, even though the cashier had issued them a refund.
He posted a photo of the original receipt and his refund receipt on Facebook, which was shared numerous times. However, on Friday afternoon, Jones made the post private on his Facebook page. KXAN did capture a screen grab of the post prior to it being hidden.
On Friday afternoon when KXAN spoke with the cashier who helped Jones, he said while his boss never specifically said that he didn’t want to serve them because they were gay, he felt that was why their food was being delayed.
“I kept telling him, ‘They needed their burgers, they needed their burgers,'” the cashier said.
The cashier claims he was sent home Thursday with pay, then told to stay home Friday, as well.
Vasari LLC, which owns 75 DQ franchises, including the Plugerville store, released a statement saying:
“We are currently investigating the recent customer service issue at our Pflugerville location. We are taking this incident very seriously. The safety and well-being of our customers and employees are our top priority. We do not and will not tolerate discrimination in our restaurants. We expect our employees to treat every person who walks through our doors with the utmost dignity and respect. Nothing less is acceptable.”
A media representative for Vasari LLC said she couldn’t confirm whether the incident actually occurred, but she said the company jumped into action as soon as it was reported.
After being tagged in several tweets about the reported incident on Twitter, Dairy Queen tweeted:
“We’re aware of this incident and are actively investigating with the franchise owner. Discrimination is never ok. All customers are welcome.”