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If you hold racist beliefs, you probably shouldn’t be serving members of the public in what’s often hailed as “the most multicultural city in the world.” Heck, if you’re cruel and stupid enough to engage in racist behaviour on the job, you shouldn’t be working anywhere.
And yet, Toronto business owners continue to hire people who, unbeknownst to them, eventually do things like give customers receipts containing racial slurs.
Barely two weeks after one Toronto pub made headlines for firing a server who typed “CHINA” onto the bill of an Asian couple, another local restaurant has canned an employee for entering something racist in the “table number” field of a receipt.
“We went to Iqbal Kebab (105 Parkway Forest Dr. Unit 10) to get take out and next to table number section, the server wrote down ‘CHINKY,'” said Evelyn Ly to blogTO by email on Monday, just hours after the incident occurred.
“I thought Canadians were better than this.”
Fortunately, for the most part, they are: The popular Pakistani restaurant in North York took swift action upon hearing from Ly and verifying her receipt. The employee in question, who appeared on the bill only as “Bushra,” was fired for his actions.
Evelyn Ly was horrified to see a racist slur on her receipt after purchasing food from Iqbal Kebab and Sweets Centre on Monday afternoon. Image via Evelyn Ly.
“We are deeply shocked by the offensive remark of our employee who has been terminated as a result,” said Muhammad Sajid Aga, the general manager of Iqbal Kebab and Sweets Centre, to blogTO on Tuesday.
“We have also formally apologized to the customer over email as well as the public who are justifiably hurt. We are a family business and condemn acts of hate and racism in every shape and form. We advocate for inclusivity of all our customers.”
Aga says the business, which has two locations in the GTA, is now “conducting review sessions” with its staff “to ensure every customer receives respect and high standards of service.”
“While we are grateful to serve a multicultural community, it is clear we need to make more effort to re-educate our staff,” reads a public apology posted to the brand’s Facebook page Tuesday night. “Iqbal Kebab and Sweet Centre will continue to stand up against hate. It is unacceptable and ignorant.”
Ly said that, while she is glad the restaurant is taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again, her goal in coming forward was to help people understand how harmful (and pervasive) this type of behaviour is.
“Honestly, if anything comes out of this, I just want people to know that language like this is not okay,” she said. “And there’s a community of allies behind those who also will not stand for this.”