Chick-fil-A is apologizing for the “unthinking behavior” of an employee at a Southern California location who issued receipts labeled "Ching" and "Chong" to two customers of Asian descent.
The Georgia-based fast-food chicken restaurant chain says the employee was immediately fired after the customers complained to management.
"Honestly, it was just a young person doing something stupid," company spokesman Jerry Johnston told msnbc.com on Wednesday.
Two Asian-American students at University of California, Irvine, who ordered meals at a Chick-fil-A in Irvine said the cashier who took their order didn’t ask for their names. Instead, she typed “Ching” and “Chong,” respectively, on their receipts, according to Kelvin Lee, another UC Irvine student who said he is a friend of the customers. Lee posted a photo of the receipts on his Tumblr account.
In a statement published on Grub Street Los Angeles, the company said the manager quickly dealt with the complaint by firing the employee.
Here is the company’s statement:
Please understand and accept our confirmation that the inappropriate, and unthinking behavior of a young team member at one of our restaurants does not support any claim or even suggestion of racism at our restaurant. The individual clearly violated our operating standards; the matter was addressed and discussed immediately with the guests on the spot; and a confirmation was provided that the employee was immediately dismissed for the individual behavior.
Our Chick-fil-A restaurant Operators and their employees try very hard every day to actually go the extra mile in serving ALL of our customers with honor, dignity and respect. The circumstances here are a simply case of immaturity, failed judgment, and human error….it has nothing to do with the service and operational standards of our Chick-fil-A restaurants which are consistently rated at the highest level of service in the foodservice industry.”
Johnston said the incident is in no way a reflection of Chick-fil-A's views or valuies.
"Someone had a definite lack of judgment and did something very silly, very stupid. We immediately acted on it and took action," he said.