A man from Pflugerville, Texas says he was discriminated against at a local Dairy Queen last month because he is gay.
Richard Jones claims that he and his partner waited for their food at the chain for nearly 30 minutes, despite watching other customers who ordered after them receive their food first. When he took his receipt to the register to ask what was happening, he says he was told that the manager didn’t want to serve them because they were gay.
“I sat there in shock,” Jones told KXAN. “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.”
Before they were eventually served their food, Jones said that the cashier was in tears and refunded the couple’s money, saying, “the manager’s discriminating against gays.”
The cashier clarified with KXAN the next day that his boss never specifically said that he didn’t want to serve the couple because they were gay, but that he believed that was the reason the food was taking so long. The worker was sent home that day with pay, and was eventually fired altogether.
District manager Tito Delreal said that after a weeklong investigation into the incident, it was found that the cashier made a false statement and the manager was not discriminating against the couple.
“Everybody in the lobby was waiting for their order for a long period of time,” Delreal told Statesman. “There was absolutely no discrimination from our management staff except for what the cashier had insinuated.”
After firing the cashier, Delreal said they fired the manager as well, but for unrelated issues that included not following company policies.
Vasari LLC, which owns several Dairy Queen franchises, issued a statement saying it does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.
“We expect our employees to treat every person who walks through our doors with the utmost dignity and respect,” the statement reads. “Nothing less is acceptable.”