Chinese restaurant under fire for ‘racist’ comment on food receipt

May 9, 2024 - 2:59 PM
Michael Odoemene
Facebook user Michael Odoemene in this photo posted on his Facebook on April 19, 2024; Receipt from North Park in Tomas Morato as posted by Michael (michaelodoemene23/Facebook)

A Chinese restaurant was called out by a Filipino-Nigerian who received a “racist” comment from a staff who left a note on the food receipt.

Facebook user Michael Melvin Odoemene on Wednesday shared his experience while dining at the Tomas Morato branch of North Park on April 30 with his friends.

He said that he received a receipt with a note at the bottom that said: “SA NAKA-BLACK NA NAKAUPO SA 14 KULOT ANG BUHOK KAMUKHA NI BLACK JACK”

The “Black Jack” could be referring to late rappler-comedian Blakdyak, whose father is a half-Jamaican.

“This behavior was exhibited by one of their staff members, who took it upon herself to make remarks about my appearance based on my racial background. As an individual of Nigerian and Filipino descent, I know I’m different. But was the note necessary?” Michael wrote on Wednesday.

The customer also said that he asked for the original receipt, which he was initially denied.

Under the Tax Code of the Philippines, it is required for businesses to issue receipts for transactions amounting to P100 or more.

“Upon bringing this matter to the attention of the assistant manager present at the time, I was met with a dismissive response. I had to repeatedly ask for the original receipt back,” Michael said.

“At first, the manager DID NOT WANT to give it back, saying excuses like ‘Natapon na po’ or ‘Nawawala na. Wala na system.” I stood firm and told them I won’t leave until I get the original receipt back. By then, they decided to give the original receipt to me already,” he added.

Michael said that while the manager told him that the waitress would be reprimanded, he left the restaurant “feeling unsatisfied with the resolution provided.”

“Merely reprimanding the staff member in question does not address the broader issue of fostering a culture of inclusivity and respect within their restaurant. I am posting this for awareness against racism or any form of judgment [or] bias passed to strangers,” he said.

“Who knows how many black people they have done this to? Is this the standard of customer service for North Park? They apologized, yes, but what lessons can we learn from this experience?” the Facebook user added.

Michael said that while he understands people have their own judgments, they should keep it to themselves and “be mindful not to act upon it.”

“‘Di kailangan isulat sa resibo and worse, i-hand over sa customer mo pa mismo,” he concluded.

In the comments section, Michael revealed that it took him “days to contemplate” on whether he would post about it.

“Sent email to their customer care, nothing happened. Till I decided to put it on socmed [social media],” he said in response to a Facebook user.

In another comment, Michael said he waited for “three days” before posting about the incident.

“Wala talagang nangyari. Nakakalungkot!” he said to another online user.

Based on the comments, Michael is already talking to his “lawyer friends” about the incident.

North Park has not yet publicly addressed the issue.

Meanwhile, a senator has recently sought a comprehensive anti-discrimination law in the country.

Various bills pertaining to the Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Act are said to be deliberated in the upper chamber.

The bills seek to penalize acts of discrimination on a wide array of grounds, including age, race, religion, political affiliation, gender, relationship status and physical appearance.

They also seek to provide robust protection against all manifestations of prejudice and bias.