(Photo Credit: Maria Boynton/Entercom Atlanta)

Waffle House Supports Employee Actions

Activists Call For Nationwide Boycott To Begin May 4

Maria Boynton
April 30, 2018 - 3:45 pm

It's been a week since 25 year old Chikesia Clemons entered into an exchange of words with an employee of a Saraland, Alabama, Waffle House restaurant that resulted in her being arrested. The exchange was apparently over Clemons and a friend wanting to know why they were being charged $0.50 cents for plastic utensils.  It resulted in the police being called and with Clemons, seen in a viral video, being wrestled to the floor, breasts exposed, and an officer threatening to break her arm.

Activists staged a silent protest yesterday at a Waffle House in the City of Brookhaven, a suburb of Atlanta, and took their demands a few miles away to the company headquarters in Norcross, GA, this morning. They are calling for a nationwide boycott of Waffle House, to begin on May 4th. 

The restaurant's corporate headquarters is standing by its employee's action of calling police. Waffle House Director of External Affairs Pat Warner handed out a printed statement following Monday's meeting, in which the restaurant video, with no sound, was played.

Waffle House Inc. said in the statement:

Previously, we stated that upon reviewing security video and eyewitness statements, it was our belief that our associates calling the police was necessary and appropriate.  In the days since, we have gathered additional details and information. Witnesses say several threats were made to our associates including threats of violence, and that's why the piolice were called.

The security video that has been released to the public by the Saraland Police Department tells the story and does support our associates calling the police. (Link to the press conference with the security video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udgFS-gIPFI) It has also been reported that the customer made reference to a gun and using that gun.

Our primary concern is always for the safety of our customers and our associates. We train our associates to contact local law enforcement anytime there is any concern about their personal safety or that of their customers.

Our investigation is continuing and will conclude this week. Waffle House is a welcoming place for everyone, and we are fortunate to enjoy a very diverse and loyal customer base that we do our best to serve every day.

Waffle House says they are also investigating another incident, this one at a store near Birmingham, Ala, in which a black woman is seen on video, being prevented from entering because of a locked door. During today's briefing, Warner said the door was not supposed to be locked. Video shows, the woman identified as Jacinda Mitchell, not being allowed inside, while other patrons are seeing eating the meals on the other side of the door of the eatery in Pinson, Ala.

Warner also said that it is not Waffle House's policy to charge for silverware.