HOUSTON – One Houston family says it was all fun and games at first, but a meal over the weekend ended on a very sour note.
“It’s like we’re repeating our ancestors,” said Laquita Wortham.
She said she used to love going to the Spanish Flowers Mexican Restaurant on North Freeway with her family, sometimes multiple times a week, but that changed Sunday while there celebrating a birthday.
“We was having a good time. The service was great until the end, I looked at the receipt… it said, I was like ‘Oh no, no I’m tripping.’”
But she wasn’t. The five split checks for the people in her party had the word “negros” in the guest name section.
“We couldn’t find the manager, and when he came out, he offered us two bottles to keep quiet and I was like, ‘No, something needs to be done about this. Because we’re trying to have a good time. Why should we be labeled as a color?’,” Wortham said.
The incident now has the attention of the New Black Panther Party organization.
“This is a restaurant that I come to on Taco Tuesdays to get blue margaritas and taco pastor,” said Dr. Candice Matthews. “It’s enough that we have to deal with white supremacy. We shouldn’t have to deal with it with people of color because they all classify us together -- we all supposed to be together with this… what is this?”
The League of the United Latin American Citizens or LULAC also condemned the labeling.
“It’s very unfortunate that this individual had a narrow mindset and felt like he needed to express his ignorance of it all. We spoke to the owner of Spanish Flowers. He has terminated the individual,” said Conchita Reyes with LULAC.
Monday, a manager said that the employee had only worked there for two months and offered an apology, promising this would never happen again.
“We are in the business for 44 years. This never happened before and it was a big big mistake,” said manager Bisael Bermudez.
Per the affected family’s request, the restaurant is removing the option to input guest names on receipts from the system, and the organizations that spoke out are working with the restaurant to host diversity equity and inclusion training for all its employees beginning next week.
The family said they appreciate the efforts and apology, but they will not be coming back.