By Yolanda Spivey
Michael Brown was highly upset when he and a group of 25 other African Americans were asked to leave a South Carolina Wild Wing Café restaurant, after waiting more than two hours to be seated. The group of Black men and women were there celebrating Brown’s cousin’s last day in the State of South Carolina.
Brown tells WNEM TV 5, after waiting 2 hours, a shift manager approached the group stating that “there was a situation.” Brown further explained that the shift manager told them that one of the customers felt threatened by them. Brown was totally alarmed by the comment. He said, “We’re sitting there peaceably for two hours. If we were causing any conflict, we would’ve been ejected out of that place hours before.”
A member from Brown’s group took out his cell phone and began taping the conversation the party was having with the manager, at which the manager became upset and refused to seat them. Brown explained to WNEM TV 5, “I asked her – I want to be clear with you. I said, so you’re telling me I have to leave. She said I have a right to deny you service. I said so you’re asking me to leave because you’re upset because he was recording you, after we’ve waited for two hours, and after you’ve already pretty much discriminated on us, and she answered yes.”
Brown and a couple of members from his party called the corporate offices of Wild Wings Café in Mt. Pleasant but their calls were left answered. So they took their complaints to the popular social media website Facebook.
One of his friends posted the following on his Facebook wall:
I will never go to Wild wings cafe in N. Chs again! We (Party of 25 family and friends) waited 2hrs, patiently and were refused service because another customer (White) felt threatened by us. This type of racial discrimination is un acceptable and we have to put a STOP TO IT. The manager looked me dead in the face and said she was refusing us service because she had a right to and simply she felt like it. DO NOT SUPPORT THIS ESTABLISHMENT… PLEASE SHARE THIS POST.. We need your help.
Wild Wings Café was alerted to the situation thr0ugh social media and posted the following on their Facebook wall:
In light of recent discussions, we would like to make clear that Wild Wing Cafe welcomes and caters to customers of every background, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or age. We are proud to be a place where people from all walks of life can meet, relax and have a good time. Our corporate policy and ethics won’t stand for anything otherwise. We have been in contact with the person who has made us aware his experience was less than satisfactory, and are continuing to speak with him to reach a solution.
The restaurant then reached out to Brown and offered an apology and a free meal to which he declined. Brown said, “We weren’t coming there for a free meal. When we came there that night, we were coming to patronize the business. This is not a situation where you can just give us a free meal and everything is ok because it’s deeper than that.”
Wild Wings posted the following update on their Facebook wall:
Update: With regard to the ongoing discussion about a customer complaint, we at Wild Wing Cafe are completely aware of the fact that we dropped the ball in communicating swiftly to a loyal customer. We take full responsibility for our lapse in response time, had the opportunity to call back and have no excuses for not doing so in 3 weeks. However, we have never tolerated racism from our employees and won’t tolerate it on our Page either. Our biggest concern has always been our customers and our staff. We have always insisted on hearing all sides to an issue and treating people with respect… and this time is no different.
I reached out to the Wild Wings restaurant that was involved in the incident. A manager who identified himself as Frank told us to reach out to their corporate offices but of course, they were closed at press time.
Feel free to call Wild Wiings Café at 843-216-7601 to voice your comments, questions or concerns.