Employees fired at Federal Way Denny’s over treatment of black customers

A manager and waitress at the Denny’s restaurant in Federal Way have been fired after a viral social media post.

Copy of the receipt posted by Palmer Pellham on Sept. 27, the night he witnessed an incident at Denny’s in Federal Way that led to the firing of a waitress and employee. Courtesy photo

A manager and waitress at a Denny’s restaurant in Federal Way have been fired after a viral social media post described the discrimination of a group of African-American customers.

The incident took place about 10:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Denny’s at 2132 S. 320th St. across from the Commons Mall. According to a Facebook post that has since been deleted, Palmer Pellham reported that he and his wife, Esther, were seated and served immediately in an otherwise empty restaurant.

They saw four African-American men enter and wait 10 minutes to be seated, then saw two white men come in after the black customers and get seated right away, according to the post. Pellham reported that the waitress asked the black customers to pay before their meals would be cooked.

The waitress told the black customers “she has had several people order food and leave without paying so her manager said she had to have them pay first,” according to the post. That’s when Palmer Pellham and his wife decided to leave the restaurant. When Pellham addressed the waitress and “told her that being racist was not the way to deal with that situation,” the restaurant’s manager told her not to talk to Pellham, according to the post, which was shared thousands of times before being taken down.

Denny’s released a statement Sept. 30:

“We are deeply disappointed and outraged by the situation that took place at our independently-owned franchise restaurant in Federal Way, Washington. Denny’s has zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind. This type of behavior is unacceptable for any reason and is clearly inconsistent with our practices and policies. After a swift investigation, the employees involved in this incident are no longer employed by our franchisee and no longer a part of the Denny’s system.”

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