CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two Charlotte Smoothie Kings have been shut down after customers noticed racist names added on their receipts.
In one case, a black customer noticed the n-word printed on the receipt. On the same day but at a separate location, a Korean customer saw the name “Jackie Chan.”
“Anger, frustration," Tony Choi said, recalling seeing his receipt Sunday night.
Choi says had to do a double take when he was handed the receipt at the Smoothie King on Davis Lake Parkway.
Choi says after he ordered, he noticed the employees giggling and smirking to each other, which is what made him ask for a copy of the receipt.
That's when he saw it. On the slip print out, they had typed in "Jackie Chan."
“I just let them know, "Hey I’m gonna write up about this I don’t think this is funny,'" he said.
Even worse, Choi says he was there with his two young children, ages 8 and 6.
“I didn’t want to make a scene in front of them I didn’t want them to know what was going on," Choi said.
Just a few hours earlier at a different Smoothie King location five miles away on Mt Holly-Huntersville Road, another customer reported getting a receipt with the n-word printed on it.
“I was shocked, it blew my mind. I was surprised, same day, just a couple hours apart, right down the street," Choi said.
After massive online backlash, the company released a statement apologizing, saying, in part:
"Today, two separate instances happened in 2 of our Charlotte Franchise Stores that are totally unacceptable and go against every value that we stand for. Two of our team members wrote inappropriate racial remarks about our guests. We have zero tolerance for any action where a guest is disrespected and we have taken immediate and decisive action."
Both team members involved were terminated, and both stores will be closed until the franchises and teams complete additional training to ensure it doesnt happen again, according to the statement.
Smoothie King said they are continuing the investigation to make sure that anyone involved no longer works for the company.
"This behavior does not in any way reflect our company’s commitment to creating an open and welcoming environment, and for that we sincerely apologize," the statement from Smoothie King continues. "Our senior management team is taking additional steps to reinforce and retrain all of our franchisee and store-level employees of our inclusivity policies and best practices."
Choi says he thinks the employees make a game of it, not thinking they’d get caught since people rarely ask for their receipts.
But it's a game he doesn't think is funny in the least.
“I know it’s not a career for those kids but they need to take this seriously," he said.