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Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Black Couple to File Lawsuit Against Chili’s For Having to Pay Before Eating

Black couple suing Chili's

Nationwide — Markesha Futrell-Smith is filing a discrimination lawsuit after they were asked to pay upfront before placing an order at a Chili’s restaurant in Denver, Colorado. What’s more, the manager reportedly accused her of dining and dashing in the past despite lacking any evidence.

In the incident that happened in April, Futrell-Smith’s birthday celebration with her family at Chili’s turned distressing, according to Essence.

In response, Futrell-Smith filed a discrimination charge with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, which found that Chili’s had violated state discrimination laws in June. Taking it a step further, Futrell-Smith filed a lawsuit on November 28 against Chili’s parent company, Brinker International, alleging racial discrimination.

According to the lawsuit, Futrell-Smith and her husband and 2 children were the only Black diners at the time, and after being seated, they waited about ten minutes before a manager insisted on upfront payment. Notably, no other patrons were subjected to this request.

“Futrell-Smith was frustrated, angry, embarrassed, and humiliated in front of her family and the other patrons of the restaurant because of Chili’s false accusations,” the lawsuit reads. “Futrell-Smith is genuinely fearful that similar discrimination will occur to her and her children in the future based on their African-American race.”

Futrell-Smith is seeking compensatory damages to the maximum extent allowed by law.

Meanwhile, Chili’s spokesperson Jake Young responded in a statement saying, “We value every Chili’s Guest and take the responsibility of fostering an inclusive environment for all very seriously. We do not condone or tolerate discrimination of any kind, as the safety and wellbeing of our Team Members and Guests is a top priority.”