This Receipt Is Going Viral, but Not for the Reason You Think

March 3rd 2016

Laura Donovan

IHOP is under fire after an Austin couple complained of getting a receipt with the words "BLACK PPL" on it to describe them.

"Black Ppl" receipt

During a drive back to Austin, Arainia Brown and her boyfriend, Rolman Sparkman, stopped at an IHOP along the interstate to grab some food to-go early on Monday morning. Brown saw the receipt after buying her meal and reportedly felt so upset by it that she posted about the situation on Facebook, according to local news station KVUE, an ABC affiliate station in Austin, Texas.

"I feel upset, I'm sad, I'm angry. Like this, it makes no sense," Brown told KVUE, adding that her server was a black man. "You could have asked me my name. Don't put, don't label me. I don't label you."

Sparkman also expressed disappointment during an interview with the local news station:

"This is not a joke. It's very serious and it hurt a lot of people's feelings."

IHOP controversy

After Brown and Sparkman's story gained nationwide attention, IHOP's corporate office released a statement condemning the franchisee's move:

"This was a poor choice made by our franchisee’s team member, and is not in keeping with policies and procedures. We recognize that it could be offensive and apologize. Everyone is welcome in our restaurants and our franchisee is using this as a teachable moment for the entire team so that it will not reoccur."

The story has sparked a lot of debate on social media, with some saying they wouldn't be offended by the receipt. Others, however, said it was distasteful to label customers by their race:




This isn't the first time a restaurant has come under fire for printing a receipt that offended someone. Last summer, a Denver woman named Beatriz Castorena expressed outraged after receiving a receipt that included the words "you fucking Mexicans" from El Valle Mexican Restaurant:

Racist receipt

The restaurant manager, Oscar Rivera told ABC affiliate news station KUSA that he was "a little bit offended" by the receipt, too, but that the situation was a big misunderstanding. The waitress who wrote the message meant to give it to the cooks as part of a joke and the receipt never should have ended up on Castorena's table.

"All our clients are Mexican," Rivera told KUSA. "We're Mexican, so it's absurd that they believe people actually feel that way, but I understand why."

Though Castorena received an apology and learned the real story behind the receipt, she still said she needed some time before going back to the restaurant again.

"It should never have been written on a receipt," she said.

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