Chili’s Refused To Serve Black Family Until They Paid Upfront, Lawsuit Says

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A Black family in Denver says they were asked to provide payment before they placed their order at a Chili's restaurant.

Markesha Futrell-Smith filed a lawsuit last week alleging that her family was racially discriminated against at the chain restaurant during an April 30, 2022 visit, per The Root.

Futrell-Smith, her husband, and two children were the only Black diners in Chili's when a manager approached them demanding they provide a valid form of payment before their orders were taken, according to the lawsuit.

The family then asked a waiter named Jacob, who had served them during past visits to the restaurants, if he had accused them of not paying their previous bills. Jacob allegedly stated that Futrell-Smith and her family were frequent customers who always paid for their meals.

The Chili's manager then pulled Jacob by the arm into a back office and away from their table, according to the family.

A spokesperson for the restaurant responded to the lawsuit in a statement.

“We value every Chili’s Guest and take the responsibility of fostering an inclusive environment for all very seriously. We do not condone or tolerate discrimination of any kind, as the safety and wellbeing of our Team Members and Guests is a top priority,” spokesperson Jake Young said.

In the suit, Futrell-Smith alleges that the restaurant and its owner, Brinker International, Inc., violated her family’s civil rights and seeks a jury trial.

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