UPDATE: The chief operating officer of Saltgrass Steak House says an investigation has found that an employee fabricated a story about a receipt left by a customer with the word “terrorist” written on it. The story below has been updated.
A receipt left for a server that had “We don’t tip terrorist” written at the top ignited outrage on social media last week. Now an Odessa, Texas, restaurant says the racist comment was a hoax.
The receipt posted on Facebook was reportedly left for Khalil Cavil after he served the customers at Saltgrass Steak House. “Khalil” was circled on the paper, and there was a “0” with a scratch through it on the tip line of the $108 check.
The post got more than 25,000 reactions and more than 7,000 comments. Terry Turley, the restaurant’s chief operating officer, said Saltgrass stood behind Cavil, and it was announced that a customer had been banned from all Saltgrass locations. Cavil also began receiving random anonymous tips via a payment app from people who saw the post, KMID reported.
Last week, Cavil did not specify how much in make-up tips he had received.
But on Monday, Turley said in a statement that an investigation found Cavil had “fabricated the entire story,” according to The Washington Post. He added that the customer who was accused of leaving the receipt has been invited back to the establishment to eat for free, The Post reported.
Additional details about the restaurant’s investigation were not available.
“Racism of any form is intolerable, and we will always act swiftly should it occur in any of our establishments,” Turley said. “Falsely accusing someone of racism is equaling disturbing.”
Cavil, who is half-white and half-black, wrote in the original post that he wanted people to understand that “racism” and “hatred” still exist, the Dallas Morning News reported. His Facebook has apparently been deactivated.
After the restaurant released the statement, the 20-year-old apologized to an Odessa American reporter “because I did lie to you,” the newspaper reported.