Red Lobster Waitress Who Received Racist Note on Receipt Gets $10K "Tip"

by at .  Updated at . Comments

The Red Lobster waitress who said a customer left her a receipt with a racist slur has now received an equally unexpected shock - a five-figure "tip" check.

Toni Christina Jenkins of Franklin, Tenn., was stunned to find a receipt on the table with "none" on the "Tip" line and the N-word on the "Total" line.

"I was just stunned that it happened," Jenkins, 19, said of the Red Lobster racist receipt slur. "It's not something that you think would actually take place."

After posting a photo of the infamous receipt to Facebook September 10, her story sparked outrage online, prompting a California man to take action.

Matthew Hanson, founder of AddictingInfo (dot) org, heard Jenkins' story and started an online fundraiser called "Tips for Toni" that collected $10,749.

In place of Jenkins' non-tip on the bill for $44.53? Not a bad consolation prize.

"It was about sending a message to racists that Americans aren't going to tolerate that," Hanson said. "We raised $10,000 within 72 hours. It was really amazing."

Hanson presented the check September 30 to Jenkins, who was blown away.

"I literally screamed. I was so confused," Jenkins said. "I was just so thankful."

"I felt so blessed and honored that people came together on my behalf."

Red Lobster Receipt

Citing company policy that prohibits employees from posting a guest receipt online, Red Lobster suspended Jenkins with pay after the story went public.

She has now resumed work, however, and the restaurant condemned racism.

"We are disgusted by the language used on this guest check; it has no place in our restaurant or anywhere else," a Red Lobster representative said.

"We were in constant communication with [our server] throughout this situation and have extended her a high degree of respect and caring for what happened."

"No one should have to endure what our employee went through."

Some online commenters called the authenticity of the receipt into question, but Jenkins stands by her story and said she felt it should be shared.

Just goes to show how alternately awful, and wonderful, people can be ...

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The customer filed a lawsuit against Red Lobster and Toni Jenkins in Williamson County (Tennessee) Circuit Court on May 22. My take on this? The customer was wronged as far as I can tell. And I can't believe how the management handled it, by (as far as we see) not investigating it at all but simply taking the server's word for it. I/we've been boycotting Red Lobster, and other Darden-owned restaurants, since September (I sent the protest email to Mike Bernstein of Darden). We're white, incidentally. Ms. Jenkins has been quoted as saying, "I was trying to bring attention to racism." That's a real irony. For one thing, in the post to her Facebook page with the receipt, she said, "...so happy to live in the proud southern states … God Bless America, land of the free and home of the low class racists of Tennessee." I'm sorry, but her comments about the "proud Southern states" and "racists of Tennessee" are nasty, stereotyped, prejudiced comments. They're not "racist" per se, but her comments are in the same boat. You might say "Oh c'mon, her 'geographic' comments aren't anywhere nearly as bad as racism is." That's true. But still -- we Americans might be less racist now than we were 50 years ago, but we've become more mean-spirited and more mean-mouthed. Anyway her actions, if anything, just caused white Americans who don't care for blacks to like blacks even less. And there's another irony, a really sad irony. We even seriously had a conversation with very thoughtful and thinking, college-educated white people in the L.A. area about whether we should ever use credit cards when dealing with black employees in a restaurant or any business anymore. Will the risk be too great? I mean, none of us wants to be racist or anything, but identity theft is a real threat and none of us want any chances taken when it comes to our credit cards. So maybe we'll have to be a little racist, I guess. And we know how wrong it is to judge an entire people based on the actions of just one. Still, way to go Ms. Jenkins. With Regards,
Cornell Kimball
Los Angeles

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Really @JC what are "my kind"....we are all human and everyone is my kind.... Doesn't matter white, black, Asian, Hispanic. EVERYBODY deserves respect!

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Another fake waitress story and another fake racist story. Not sure what happened to real journalism, but they used to actually try and validate stories before printing them. So sad.

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This story is old- it's been shown through analysis that the slur is FAKE, written by the waitress herself. So she got rewarded with attention and a lot of money by naive do-gooders. This was a takeout order. And the guy who simply wrote 'none' on the tip line has had his picture and info plastered all over the net, and has received death threats. THAT is the real story. This guy should sue Red Lobster and the waitress for defamation and harassment.

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This story is old- it's been shown through analysis that the slur is FAKE, written by the waitress herself. So she got rewarded with attention and a lot of money by naive do-gooders. This was a takeout order. And the guy who simply wrote 'none' on the tip line has had his picture and info plastered all over the net, and has received death threats. THAT is the real story. This guy should sue Red Lobster and the waitress for defamation and harassment.

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This is a nice gesture regardless of race. No one deserves to be treated poorly because of their race. How is the country going down the tubes because someone initiated a nice gesture? It's called karma dummies! This girl was doing her job. If you don't want to leave a tip, fine but you don't have to be a racist douche about it. JC - Please tell me how long whites have been receiving racial slurs from minorties compared to ANY other ethnic group receiving the same from whites? I'm expecting crickets on that. But as much as whites try to tell blacks and other people of color to get over their hundreds of years of racism, you freak out and become so appauled when you have to deal with it. I get it, it's wrong on all parties but see the bigger picture. A human was doing something nice for another human because another human was not. Deal with it and move on.

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@ Really?

Are you missing the point that this whole thing was faked? Just like the other waitress that supposedly got a 1% tip from some anonymous guest when the occupy Wall Street us vs the 1% thing was big. Both stories, totally fake. No one used any racial slurs against this poor waitress who now has $10,000. perfect.

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@ Really?

I totally agree with your post. True,true and.....true

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@ Ronda

So what you're saying is that she did a good job lying? She got caught Ronda. Good karma my butt. How can you lie and then say she deserves good karma, when her entire plan was to screw over the gentleman and his wife that ORDERED TAKE OUT!!! Since when do you leave a tip for taking out dinner?

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Yeah it figures that white people would jump and embrace right away. IF a white woman received a racial slur from someone from a different ethnicity, nothing like this would happen, a white woman would not get 10K and trust me, a friend of mine did plenty of waitressing and she dealt with Afro American individuals that openly said racial slurs to her face and she did not get online support like this. This is a bit extreme if you ask me, 10K ? White people need to learn how to embrace their own kind before they embrace anyone else. This world is going down the tubes if you ask me.

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but Shut Up now.