Now the incident has become viral, staff has been sacked, and the restaurant chain is facing a public backlash, another disturbing example of online discrimination.
"If you do not want to sit next to certain people in a public restaurant, you should probably have dinner at home," wrote Mary Vahl on Facebook in a post that has been shared more than 4,500 times since Monday.
Buffalo Wild Wings did not immediately return a message on Sunday evening, but a spokesperson for the chain told the Associated Press that the affected staff had been released following an internal investigation.
The company "values an inclusive environment and has no tolerance for discrimination of any kind," a spokesperson said in a statement to WBBM.
On October 26, after a birthday party, the Vahls party came to a Buffalo Wild Wings, who had gone underground at a mall in Naperville, Illinois. , a racially different suburb about 40 minutes southwest of Chicago. Mary's husband Justin asked for a table for 1
5, but when a host started setting up his table, he quickly realized that he had miscalculated the size of the group and rose to correct his mistake.
Then, the host – a The young African American – asked a question that baffled him: "What race are you?"
"Why is that important?" Justin Vahl asked the host.
Sitting nearby, said the host, was a regular customer who "does not want black people near him." He called the man racist.
The Vahls and their friends did not want to satisfy this other customer, so they sat down at the table anyway and when they started ordering drinks and entrees, they were blinded by the man in a photo who opened Mary Facebook had posted, seemed to be white, and noticed that he spoke with the staff for a new table.
"These seats are reserved," the manager told them, "and we have to move your group." (Regardless, Buffalo Wild Wings does not accept reservations, according to the Naperville Sun.)
When they complained to their waitress, she told them that she already knew what was going on: The regular is a racist, she said although she could not do anything. As several managers tried to send the group to a new table, the group's six adults decided to leave Buffalo Wild Wings altogether.
When they got up to leave the restaurant, the host had tears in their eyes and other customers stood up to hug the group, said a member of the party, Marcus Riley, to WBBM.
Called on late Sunday, Justin Vahl refused to comment and said he still needed to meet with his lawyers. In an interview with the television station, however, Marcus Riley feared that the interaction in the restaurant would make the children wonder what their teachers and classmates think of them.
"It's 2019. We should get over it," he said As they drove down the street to a Hooters, Riley's children offered a litany of disturbing questions: Did they do it? something is not correct? Why did not the man like her?
Riley told the broadcaster that he answered with his own question, "If you do not value us as human beings, would you still want to pay them?"
The incident seemed to put a strain on some of them. Ethan Vahl, 10, later told the television station, "Nobody should experience what we experienced with racism on this day." His friend Dereon Smothers, also 10, said he had been thinking about the incident for the last week.
That was the most worrying thing for me, "said Riley, who is also her basketball coach. "For my children to go through that, it moved me to tears."
He reached out to Buffalo Wild Wings, who later told the Sun that "it was in direct communication with the guest to understand what happened and what happened. We definitely want unacceptable behavior apologize. "
By Sunday, several restaurant staff had been fired and several others had quit, although the local media did not report how many were fired and what role they played in the incident
In the meantime, the boys had but a ray of hope that Riley hopes he can remember: the day after the incident, they won their three-to-three basketball tournament in nearby Oak Brook, Ill. 19659002] "Five boys from all ethnic groups have worked together, to achieve a common goal, "wrote Justin Vahl on Facebook." Less than 24 hours after they left a restaurant where they did not were sought. "because the color o for their skin. "