A Miami Restaurant Owner Was Just Suspended After Backlash Over Offensive Menu Change
He says the change was an "attempt at humor."
A South Florida restaurant owner is out of a job today. The co-owner of Miami's Hole in the Wall restaurant was suspended after he changed the name of a menu item as a "joke." The announcement came after an employee quit and revealed the incident on Twitter.
"I want to apologize for my insensitivity in a lame attempt at humor," Sam Diedrick, the owner of Hole in the Wall, said. "My intentions were never to offend or make any employee or customer uncomfortable. I will take this incident and learn from my oafish behavior. I truly am sorry."
Diedrick was suspended from the establishment after a receipt showed he changed the name of blackened wings to "I Can't Breathe." Management of the spot wrote on its website that it was "disgusted" about what happened and that Diedrick was "suspended" from his duties at the restaurant.
All social media pages from the establishment have been taken down.
Diedrick also holds a "small ownership interest" in Gringos Oyster Bar. After the news broke of his actions, the managing partner, David Strawderman wrote a lengthy apology on the restaurant's Instagram page.
On June 21, former server Brandon Gonzalez noticed that a plate of blackened chicken wings was changed to "I CAN'T BREATH" in red letters on the.
Gonzalez took the ticket back to the kitchen in which Diedrick explained to him that the restaurant wasn't going to write "blackened" anymore, but instead would call the wings, "I can't breath."
He would later quit and post the receipt on Twitter.
"Yesterday, I was at work and my boss, Hole In The Wall co-founder Sam, thought it'd be funny to change the "Blackend" wings to "I Can't Breath," he wrote.
Gonzalez told Narcity that following the incident, the primary owner, Craig Erickson, reached out to him.
"Craig reached out saying he stands with me and the company does as well, but they only suspended Sam," he said. "That’s as effective as suspending a police officer after they killed someone."
In light of the situation, the restaurant said they would be "engaging directly with each of our employees to listen to their concerns and explain to them the steps we are taking to ensure this never occurs again."