Many react with shock that such blatant discrimination could occur when Black employees speak out about their experiences of racism within the restaurant industry. However, according to Eater, what many don’t realize is that racism in the industry has been a practice since day one.
One such instance of restaurant industry racism has recently gone viral. In a video posted Wednesday, TikToker Makenna (@kennaxmckee) shared her experience of blatant racism as a server at a Hooters in South Carolina. Her video received over 490,000 views.
In the video, Makenna wears her Hooters uniform while mouthing the lyrics “you’re that girl, you’re the one” from Drake’s hit song “Hold On, We’re Going Home” in front of a public bathroom mirror.
“Having to get myself together because a customer asked for a [white woman emoji] server instead of me,” reads the video’s text overlay.
@kennaxmckee get urself together shawty🥲. #fyp ♬ hold on were going home – a 😉
In the comments section, users shared similar experiences and sent their sympathies to Makenna.
“I use to bartend at Twin Peaks in Texas, this actually happens and it happens more often that you’d think,” wrote verified user Rae (@raewill_).
“Nahh I’ll go over to him n let him know he ain’t gettin no one else or else he can leave,” another user commented. Makenna responded, saying “That’s what I did, lol he left bc no one came and took his order lol.”
“First off, you’re gorgeous” wrote another user. “Second, how did they even allow this??? People should have gotten kicked out immediately.”
In response to a user’s comment asking for a story time, Makenna posted another video adding clarification to the interaction she had with the customer.
@kennaxmckee Replying to @Asia #fyp ♬ original sound – MAKKS
Makenna says in the follow-up video that the incident happened during the middle of a rush.
“Please don’t take offense to this, but can I just get a white waitress? I’m sorry,” Makenna recalls the man saying when she came up to him.
Makenna says she then walked away and didn’t inform any other staff members of the situation. When tending to other tables, she ignored the man until he asked if someone was going to come by and take his order.
“I just looked at him and then kept walking like, you think I’m going to talk to you after you just said that?” she explains. “He finally ended up getting up and walking out.”
Makenna continues to say that the interaction was just the icing on the cake after she had previously been declined a tip during the same shift.
According to the TikToker, the customer did not intend to tip until his friend told him to do so. He tipped, waited for his two friends to leave, then put the cash back in his pocket. After leaving the restaurant, he realized he forgot his food and went back inside, told Makenna he forgot to tip her, and then ran off to his car.
“There’s just no way this is still going on in the world, you know?” she ended the video.
The Daily Dot reached out to Makenna for comment via email. The TikToker did not immediately respond to the request.