[UPDATE] Saltgrass bans customer in racist receipt incident

Texas steakhouse says it stands by and supports employee

Editor's Note, July 24: The racist receipt was found to be a hoax, forged by the server. Read the story update >>

A Saltgrass Steak House in Odessa, Texas, has banned a customer who this past weekend circled the name of waiter Khalil on a credit card receipt and printed the message “We don’t tip terrorist [sic].”

The racist message appears to be one of a growing number that wait staff are getting from customers, and Saltgrass Steak House’s management dealt with it swiftly after the server posted about the incident Sunday on his Facebook account.


Terry Turney, Saltgrass’ chief operating officer Saltgrass, said in a statement released by Landry’s public relations firm: "We stand by and support our employee.”

“Racism of any form is unacceptable,” Turney added, “and we have banned this customer from returning to our establishment." 

Saltgrass is a 70-unit casual-dining division of Houston-based Landry’s Inc. 

Restaurants are increasingly dealing with these customer incidents directed at their staff members.

Similar ethnically or racially focused messages have been left on restaurant receipts in the past year, including at Di Frabo Italian restaurant in San Antonio, Texas, and at the Ashburn, Va., location of the eight-unit Anita’s New Mexico Style Café in January.

The racist message in Odessa was hand printed on a $108.73 credit card receipt on which the customer had zeroed out the tip field.

“Last night at work I received this note from one of my tables,” wrote Khalil Cavil, the Odessa Saltgrass waiter, in a Facebook post along with the receipt image. Cavil had blacked out the name of the restaurant, the card holder’s name, card number and other identifying information. 

“At the moment I didn’t know what to think nor what to say, I was sick to my stomach,” Cavil said. “I share this because I want people to understand that this racism, and this hatred still exists. Although, this is nothing new, it is still something that will test your faith.” 

Cavil told the local television station that his name was bestowed upon him by his father to honor the father’s best friend, also named Khalil. 

"My dad was in the military and a buddy that he was very close to, served with him,” Cavil said, “Khalil was killed in an accident and so my dad just named me after him, one of his best friends.”

Cavil is a Christian, and he said his faith helped him deal with the incident.

“All day I’ve had to remind myself that Jesus died for these people too,” said Cavil in his Facebook message. “I have decided to let this encourage me, and fuel me to change the world the only way I know how.”

As of noon Wednesday, his post had received more than 2,000 comments and 5,000 shares.

“The messages and comments I’ve received have been nothing but encouraging and love,” Cavil noted.

Saltgrass Steak House has units in eight states.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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