Chick-fil-A has responded after one of their Asian-American customers discovered that she'd been referred to as "China" on her order.
Here's the full story...
Now, it's no secret that, in the past year, there has been a spike in racially motivated hate crimes against the American-Asian community.
Anti-Asian hate crimes are up 150% during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University.
Stop AAPI Hate is proud to announce our latest national report, measuring anti-Asian hate incidents from March 2020-Feb 2021. In the last 12 months, we have tracked 3,795 hate incident reports from APIs in all 50 states and DC. pic.twitter.com/fbKUUdByvj— Stop AAPI Hate (@StopAAPIHate) March 16, 2021
That's the number of anti-Asian hate incidents that were reported across the country between March 2020 and February 2021, according to a report compiled by the nonprofit coalition, Stop AAPI Hate.
The community has undoubtedly endured an unfair stigma during the pandemic, which originated in China.
Many Asian Americans feel exposed by a torrent of dangerous and racially motivated rhetoric by national figures on a cultural crusade, CNN reported.
Most prominently, that includes former President Donald Trump, who presided over 4 years of rising racial tensions and often used division as a tool of personal power.
A tweet by Trump referring to COVID-19 as the "Chinese Virus" was linked with a rise in anti-Asian content on Twitter, research claimed.
Trump's March 16th tweet, which has since been removed from the platform, read:
"The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!"
And last month, when 8 people were killed in a racially motivated shooting in a number of Asian spas in Atlanta...
Calls for change only grew.
However, this week, there has been yet another example of potential Asian hate here in the states...
At none other than a Chick-fil-A restaurant.
A woman, known only as Tina, has spoken about her recent experience at the fast-food chain.
She had driven to one of the Houston branches on March 22nd to pick up food ahead of the dinner rush.
She gave her order to an employee at the drive-thru, who also took down her name and put it into the iPad ordering system.
Sounds pretty routine so far, right?
Well, things went a little pear-shaped when Tina read her receipt.
When she read through her order, she was shocked to find that her name was listed not as Tina, but as "China."
Speaking to Insider, Tina explained that it didn't feel like a simple misunderstanding to her.
"I always make a point to say 'tee-na,' especially when wearing my mask," she said, emphasizing the 2 syllables of her name.
She had also scanned her app for the order...
Which she claims will have showed the worker her full name.
"I'd hope that they are educated and I wouldn't have to deal with this," Tina said.
She added that she had visited the particular branch "dozens of times" in the past, and had never before experienced any issues with the staff.
That same night, Tina filled out a feedback form and received an email from the store's general manager the next day.
"We want our customers to have a great experience, but it sounds like that didn't happen this time. We know we can't undo what happened, but we'd love another chance to get it right," the email began.
"I spoke with my team members from that shift and they informed me that they misheard 'Tina' as 'China' and that it had nothing to do with your ethnicity," the manager explained in the email.
The manager also wrote that they took the issue seriously and offered her a free meal to replace the one she'd purchased.
However, Tina isn't satisfied.
"You hear about it in the news, you see it, but I didn't think this would happen to me, especially not in Houston," she said. "I don't care about free stuff, I just want them to take corrective action."
Tina emailed the manager back, asking for clarification on how the misunderstanding could have occurred given that the interaction was face-to-face with the employee, not through an intercom system.
"I would think [Chick-fil-A] would be more sensitive and take it more seriously. I don't want to get anyone fired, I just want to know that they're doing something."
Well, Chick-fil-A HQ has now responded by explaining that the employee had misheard the name in the loud outdoor setting...
And that they felt terrible about the misunderstanding.
"Chick-fil-A strives to be a welcoming environment for all and believes racism has no place in society," a spokesperson said in an email.
"It is our understanding that this is a case of a restaurant Team Member misunderstanding a guest's name. But that does not negate the impact of the words or the experience of our guest. We sincerely apologize for any harm caused by this incident."
The spokesperson then added that the restaurant operator had formally apologized.
Tina, meanwhile, said that she'll be satisfied if Chick-fil-A were to tell her that it planned to "offer more training and reassure that they'll do more."
"Given the recent rise in Asian hate crimes, discrimination against the Asian community, and especially with CFA being headquartered in Atlanta where the recent shooting took place — I would hope that CFA would take this seriously."