Sunday, January 16, 2011

Restaurant Boss Sacked For 'Ghetto' Email

Restaurant Rule Number 358: Don't leave insulting messages about customers on the bottom of emails.

Anyone who saw Michel Roux’s Service may have despaired at the idea of taking a bunch of carefully chosen fuckwits and turning them into top waiters and restaurant managers (where will the reality TV food programme trend end – Ainsley Harriott’s quest to find Britain’s best potwash?)

Yet despite their stroppiness and inexperience none of them could possibly be as bad as Andy Nesenson, the general manager of a Mississippi restaurant who got fired for writing a racially offensive email that was mistakenly sent to a black customer.

LaTrenda Watson said she was shocked and appalled when she received the insulting message after booking a table for 15 at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Ridgeland to celebrate her mother’s 60th birthday.

Nesenson wrote in an internal email to marketing manager Wendy Stringer Partain: “Another ghetto Sat. Party. They really love us don't they. Especially on Sat. Call her and get her on the books if we have room, and I will take care of the rest."

For some reason, Partain sent a confirmation email to Watson, with the offensive email attached at the end. Watson complained to the company and Nesenson was immediately fired.

"The whole plan was to throw my mother a birthday party, and we wanted to have it at a nice restaurant in a nice setting. So we chose Ruth's Chris," said Watson.

"My heart just really dropped, and I was in total shock. And from that total shock, I began to get really angry and upset. I took it as them looking at my name and saying okay this is a black person - they must be ghetto.”

Watson cancelled the reservation and moved the party to another restaurant. She was later contacted by Ruth’s Chris to tell her Nesenson had been sacked.

Michael O’Donnel, group president of the 120-strong franchise chain, said in a statement: “We are saddened to hear and so very sorry that anyone associated with Ruth's Chris Steak House would think or make a statement so misaligned with our culture.

“On behalf of all our employees and franchises I am sorry that this ugly, inappropriate incident happened."


Kavey said...

"For some reason, Partain sent a confirmation email to Watson, with the offensive email attached at the end..."

I'm guessing she did it accidentally on purpose - perhaps she was as appalled by the views expressed as the customer!

Lennie Nash said...

Hi Kavey,

Yes my thoughts entirely. A spokesman for the restaurant described Partain's actions as a "mistake" and said no action had been taken against her.

Re: the restaurant manager - it's amazing how badly some staff view their customers and the hate they have towards them.

All the best,