Smoothie King Fires Employees, Closes Two North Carolina Stores After Receipts Show Racial Slurs

Alleged racial insults at two Smoothie King stores Sunday afternoon in North Carolina led to a pair of firings and two stores temporarily closing until further notice. In both cases, a derogatory racial term was typed on the receipt, and both offended customers posted pictures of them on social media.

The Charlotte Observer reports the first incident took place at the Mt. Holly Huntersville Road store in Charlotte around 2:30 p.m. local time. The African American customer noticed on his receipt the customer's name was "n***er." He found a Smoothie King tweet from May 17 in which the store touted "Cheers to $5 Friday."

Max the Bear responded on Sunday, "Do I have to be called the n-word for the discount?" as he posted a photo of his receipt.

About the same time Max the Bear posted his receipt, another Smoothie King customer, this one of Korean descent, said he endured similar treatment, getting called "Jackie Chan" on his ticket from the store on Davis Lake Parkway ao 6:15 p.m. Tony Choi posted to Facebook, saying three employees "couldn't stop laughing about it."

"I was just in this Smoothie King with my kids. Instead of asking for my name. Zack H. thought it would be funny to put 'Jackie Chan' as my name. Being Korean, I find this very insulting. But the three employees working there at the time couldn't stop laughing about it. I experience racism here and there and usually doesn't bother me. Today I left this store furious on the inside, trying to not let my young kids know what just happened."

Smoothie King responded on Twitter later Sunday evening, stating they had terminated the two employees responsible.

"Both employees have been terminated by their franchisees. We are continuing to investigate this incident," the company's tweet read.

Smoothie King, which is based in the Dallas area, told WBTV in Charlotte the two stores have temporarily closed while "their respective teams complete further training on our standards and to ensure that nothing like this occurs again."

"Today, two instances happened in 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," Smoothie King told the TV station.

Smoothie King Racial Slurs
Smoothie King fired two employees and temporarily closed two stores in Charlotte, North Carolina, after customers complained that Smoothie King employees wrote racial slurs on their tickets to identify them on June 2, 2019. Photo screenshot via Smoothie King Twitter page
Smoothie King Fires Employees, Closes Two North Carolina Stores After Receipts Show Racial Slurs | U.S.