While the joke has long been that Starbucks baristas never get the spelling of their customers’ named right, Smoothie King’s alleged drink naming practices is no laughing matter. Earlier this week, in two separate incidents in and around Charlotte, North Carolina, two different customers took to social media to report the racist nicknames found on their receipts- one of which included the blatant use of the n-word.
Like many fast food places that may not take customer names or hand out orders, workers at Smoothie King often use physical descriptions to match drink orders to recipients. (For example, “man in blue shirt.”) However, on Sunday, a photo showed that the n-word had been printed in place of a woman’s name while another receipt listed Tony Choi’s name as “Jackie Chan” at a different Charlotte-area store just a few hours later. (Choi, who shared the receipt on Facebook is Korean-American.)
In a statement to the Charlotte Observer on Monday, a Smoothie King corporate spokesperson made the following statement: “Today, two instances happened in our Charlotte franchise stores that are totally unacceptable and go against every value that we stand for. Two of our team members wrote inappropriate, racial remarks about our guests.” They also told the paper that the company had fired the two employees responsible and temporarily shut down the stores for an emergency “training session” to “ensure that nothing like this occurs again.”
However, Choi has asserted that he is not pleased with the lip service from the company, writing on Facebook: “Today I left this store furious on the inside, trying to not let my young kids know what just happened. But the 3 employees working there at the time couldn’t stop laughing about it.”
(The other customer has not issued a statement since the incident and her niece, who reported the receipt, has since deleted the initial tweet.)