Black Waitress At Red Lobster In Tennessee Gets $0 Tip And Called The N-Word On Receipt

September 9, 2013  |  

As if the food service struggle wasn’t already hard enough, imagine going to your place of work, trying to serve your customers, only for them to not leave you a tip, but to also call you the N-word in the check you give them. That’s what happened according to Red Lobster waitress Toni Christina Jenkins, a 19-year-old nursing student, who says a couple came in her restaurant in Franklin, Tennessee and did just that. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Jenkins discussed her awkward encounter with the couple:

“They were extremely rude, but I introduced myself to them and they didn’t respond. When I came to take their orderm[sic] they simply told me they wanted their food and to put everything in a to-go box. I offered them dessert but they told me abruptly that they just wanted the check.’

‘When I went back to the table they had gone and left the receipt and had written the comments.”

After they did so, Jenkins says she showed the receipt to her boss, but then went on to take a picture of the receipt (with the man’s name visible) and posted it on her Facebook page. She did so with this sarcastic caption: “This is what I got as a tip last night…so happy to live in the proud southern states..God Bless America, land of the free and home of the low class racists of Tennessee.”

Since then, the story has obviously gained a lot of momentum, and while her friends, family, and many others have supported Jenkins, some seem to think she faked the comments on the receipt because they believe the handwriting is different from the signature to the insults. I guess folks forgot there were two people at that particular table…But anywho, Jenkins defends her story and says she has no reason to lie, especially not for a tip. “I don’t get tips all the time. I really don’t care cause God is my provider, I don’t worry about tips.”

Because the receipt has been posted online, Jenkins was suspended, but with pay, until folks at the Franklin Red Lobster can figure out the next best plan of action.

Definitely not the type of thing any person just doing their job wants to deal with. But I will say, seeing as the man’s name was very easy to see on the receipt, as well as the last four digits of his credit card number, Jenkins just might encounter another problem (like legal action possibly) with this couple soon enough.

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  • No

    She lied. Own it.

  • mlk84

    I know for an absolute fact she is not lying and anyone who lives in Franklin Tennessee knows it too. White people are racist like that. Own it.

  • jeannnnie1

    Well I went to the Red Lobster Franklin TN FB page and guess what, they are not allowing people to comment, why is that, if they did not suspend this young woman then they would want to answer to it. Shame on RL

  • autumn mist

    It always amazes me that when white people see or hear of racism they are in absolute denial and blame the victim. I have had cases come across my desk where criminals commit crimes and solicit the assistance of an unsuspecting white persons stating a Black person is after them and they need their help. They have allowed criminal in their homes in their cars, etc. It’s amazing. Earlier this year a student, in Virginia who grew up in a predominately white community and attended a predominately white school, was asked to read a poem by Langston Hughes. The teacher criticized the student for not reading the poem in what she deemed to be Black enough and it was shown that she repeatedly called on the student to behave in what she considered Black behavior. I was amazed @ the white respondents who stated the teacher said & did nothing wrong. This is the 21st century and still we as human beings do not get it. It is like certain groups who continue to deny that the Holocaust ever existed.

    • D.D

      RIGHT OMG I read so many articles about stuff that is obvious racism and the majority of white people are just like “here goes another black complaining again” I am starting to think alot of white people do not know what racism even is….it is sad really. I also think they don’t want to accept there own racism and denial of racism period. I guess it is easy to ignore when you never really have to deal with it. Not everything is racist yes but racism still is out there.

  • jane

    That couple win never win any legal action because by writing the N word on that receipt, they have committed a hate crime already.

  • King Mesh Hamilton

    That’s messed I would find some new friends hmm

  • Cynthia Perry Crawford

    Young people are so outraged when something like this happens to them. Ask your grandparents about this ignorance they/we put up with this all the time. The world really hasn’t changed as much as we want to believe.

  • D.D

    People do know that if two people where at the table the other person could have signed to pay and the other write the comment right? Just throwing that out there as a highly likely possibility. IDK if it is real or not But I have heard worse from people I know that serve so it is not all that far fetched. And if she is lying that is her job right there gone

  • Deja

    Wow, this doesn’t surprise me. Even in 2013, this country is full of racism. It’s a shame, but it’s the reality of the world that we live in. I wish her the best, and for the miserable & ignorant customer that did this, the hate they’re carrying will eat them up from the inside out.

  • JMO

    I get that sometimes we need to know about discrimination situations so that we know which businesses not to support. However, it seems like there’s an article almost every day w/a story about racism. I’m starting to think you guys are just trying to get folks riled up. This stuff happens; every story doesn’t need an article unless it requires some action by the masses.

    • guest


  • Sheena B

    I’m not sure about this one. If it happened then shame on the customer for being so ignorant. This doesn’t excuse it but that area of Nashville is pretty diverse and can be somewhat upscale (again it doesn’t excuse it and many other factors play a part e.g a visitor). I’m a little taken aback to find that a customer would be that bold in that particular setting. She is also wrong for posting the pic as well. I don’t get why people do that. When you are the victim of something take the appropriate legal steps instead of getting on Twitter/FB for “Likes”.

    • hollyw

      Social media is actually the most effective way to
      get a fast response for injustice nowadays…

      • Sheena B

        Yes, if done wisely. She didn’t redact the customers personal info in the original photo.

    • ….

      if you think racism only exists in places that aren’t “diverse” or “upscale”, that would be terribly naive.

      • Sheena B

        Not my point, didn’t say that, or imply that. Your input is appreciated nonetheless. Good day

    • Megan

      Being from Nashville, I get what you’re saying. I think some people are taking your comment as dismissive of the employees feelings (the down votes… Seriously people). That area is not subject to this foolishness at all. Guess you have to be there to get it.

    • moniqhar

      chile please I live in TN and wouldn’t ride through franklin after dark..

      • Sheena B

        Well I do too or did as of two weeks ago. Never had a problem driving at night or anything else in Franklin, Nashville, Murfreesboro, Gallatin, Brentwood, etc.; different experiences for different people.

      • cb

        thank you

    • autumn mist

      Sheena if a person is ignorant and or vile enough to be so crass, why should anyone shield them.

      • Sheena B

        So two wrongs make a right now? No. She may open a whole new can of mess now by exposing the last 4 digits of his CC with his name on the receipt. If she wanted to call him out by name then fine. All of the rest should not be exposed.

        • autumn mist

          Federal law supercedes state law & she has not committed a crime. As I stated before, he should have been aware that his actions could result in repercussions.

          • Sheena B

            Ok. Have a great day

  • a concerned citizen

    This is an obvious forgery and you can’t assume that the customer is guilty just because your

    emotions were triggered with a racial slur. SNAP OUT of the emotional spell it puts you in and

    actually look at this situation and the evidence. The tip/signature lines are CLEARLY written

    with different pressures and different writing styles. The total looks
    like it was almost written sloppily to hide the fact that it was a
    forgery. Secondly look at the situation. Everyone has heard stories of
    waitresses/waiters getting stiffed for tips and how they react.
    Especially with tabs in the $50 or more range. Assuming that the
    customer was even white… which we don’t know, but I am SURE all of you
    assumed immediately.

    How is Red Lobster going to feel about their customer being put in
    danger like this? Their information is there for the world to see. What
    happens if the person is attacked or even murdered and it is found out
    that this girl forged the slur in an attempt to defame the customers

    Do you think Red Lobster is happy about lawsuits? I would assume it
    isn’t. You guys really need to look at this objectively because it is
    very possible that it is a forgery. Their were people talking about
    killing the customer on her facebook comments by the way.

    fakehatecrimes dot org

    • Law Biding Citizen

      wait wait wait….hold the fkn phone…the customer… what about the customer?
      First off, this young has the right as a working, tax paying citizen to come to her place of employment and not be verbally assaulted and abused in such a matter, there is such a thing called Respect for human kind, now if her service was so poor they would not have hesitated to inform her supervisor or manager in attempt to get her fired, have you ever been disrespected at you place of employment? if not then you would have no idea the type of feeling if gives you, and the amount of strength it takes to exercise self control and remain professional. If you have then, I’m pretty sure you know that they customer is NOT ALWAYS RIGHT, so in this case if the customers were so disrespectful, inhumane and dump enough to make a comment of that caliber on something with their name, identification and bank information attached to it, then they deserve whatever comes their way. Karma is not a one way street, so find your way or ask Jesus for direction

    • rem

      I see your points, I want more confirmation on the legitimacy first before I jump to conclusions too. Anyone can make up a story like this to garner sympathy. I believe I read a story a few weeks ago about a black boy who made up a story about his classmate sending him racial slurs so he could get the sympathy vote as he ran for student body president. Im not saying this girl did that, and of course she could be telling the truth. But people are so dishonest now a days and will do anything for their 15 min of attention. No harm in waiting trying to find out more information before taking sides.

      • cb

        I visited TN, I believe her…

    • Kayla Ancrum

      Why are you even on this site. go away.