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Does Buffalo Wild Wings treat all customers the same?

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I had been conducting an independent investigation that started in the middle of October 2013 after I overheard several African American customers complaining about the way in which they were treated while dining at the Buffalo Wild Wings that’s located at 11255 183rd St. Cerritos, CA. 90703. My investigation into their allegations ended on 12/28/2013 shortly after 4:30pm. I was able to close my investigation once I was able to confirm that what they were saying was true.

My investigation was centered on how the Buffalo Wild Wings in Cerritos, CA. treats some of its customers. I entered the Cerritos, CA. Buffalo Wild Wings on 12/28/2013 in order to watch the highly anticipated UFC 168 pay per view since I've been watching UFC bouts and boxing matches at this particular location ever since they first opened in Cerritos, CA. after gaining approval from city officials to open for business.

I was seated as usual and a blonde waitress came over to take my order, which seemed innocent enough, however, after I informed her that I didn't want to order an alcoholic beverage, and that I only wanted to order something to eat, and that I wanted my hamburger to be bunless, her whole demeanor towards me suddenly changed. The same waitress returned within approximately three minutes with a bill and she demanded that I pay for my food up front or that I give her a credit card in order to stay and watch the fight. Being asked to pay for my food prior to receiving it and prior to consuming it has never happened to me before and certainly not at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Cerritos, CA.

However, this is precisely what I experienced and it’s also what I overheard certain African American customers complaining about as they were leaving on a different occasion in October 2013, which is what prompted me to launch an independent investigation into their allegations, which were confirmed today.

This type of pre-civil rights behavior is totally unacceptable and this is why I asked to speak to the manager since I’ve been patronizing this particular business for an extremely long time. I first spoke to a manager named Lora Michaud and when I explained the situation to her and told her that I'm a journalist and that I would be writing an article about my experience since she also demanded that I pay for my food up front and that I provide a credit card, she stated that she would get the regional manager for me, however, I was greeted by an unprofessional manager named Bryan Jones who stated that he was the general manager. Mr. Jones mirrored the attitude of the waitress that demanded that I pay for my food up front and he used the term man to refer to me during the course of our conversation, which demonstrates a total lack of respect since professionals only use the term sir or ma’am while speaking to customers.

Mr. Jones also stated that I needed to pay for my food prior to receiving it and that I needed to provide my waitress with a credit card if I wanted to stay and see the fight, however, none of the other patrons were asked to pay for their food up front and none of the other patrons had to provide their waitress with a credit card, and when I pointed this out to Mr. Jones, he stated that they cannot tell who’s going to walk out on them, and that they've had people walk out without paying, and that they have to protect their business, and that this is why I needed to provide a credit card if I wanted to stay and watch the fight, and that this is also why I needed to pay for my food up front.

Needless to say this was an especially humiliating experience, so I cancelled my food order and left since I was not going to be subjected to this type of degrading racially motivated behavior that none of the other none African American patrons were being subjected to.

I was well-dressed and had on a white dress shirt when I entered the Buffalo Wild Wings in Cerritos, CA. so there’s absolutely no way that I could have been mistaken for someone that’s destitute, which is why I explained to Mr. Jones that I’m a journalist and that I would be writing an article about my experience at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Cerritos, CA. I also explained that I was going to drive to Orange County California where I would be paying a ten dollar cover charge to see the fight. In addition, I explained to Mr. Jones that although I had two credit cards on me that I was not going to provide my waitress with a credit card, and that I was also not going to pay for my food up front since no one else was being required to do so, and that I was going to leave the restaurant instead.

Mr. Jones expressed no real concern for how I felt about being singled out and he simply gave me Ryan Miller’s telephone number since he’s the regional manager, however, when I called Ryan Miller shortly after leaving the restaurant to explain what had happened, and that I was conducting an investigation, and wanted to give him the opportunity to provide an explanation, he wasn't interested in speaking with me and claimed that he couldn't understand what I was talking about, so I discontinued the call after advising him that I would be writing an article.

After hanging up with Ryan Miller I drove to Orange County California where I received excellent service at the OC Sports Grill that’s located at 450 N. State College Blvd. Orange, CA. 92868. I was not asked to pay for my food up front and neither was I asked to provide my waitress with a credit card and no demeaning statements about customers walking out without paying were made to me. There were several African Americans that were patronizing OC Sports Grill and none of them seemed unhappy and weren't subjected to the type of pre-civil rights treatment that I received at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Cerritos, CA. and that I overhead several African Americans complaining about.

The service that I received at OC Sports Grill was grade A and the manager named Jack is a true professional.

As previously stated I cancelled my food order at the Cerritos, CA. Buffalo Wild Wings and left the establishment since I do not support businesses that refuse to provide all of their customers with the same level of service. I gladly drove 13 miles and paid a ten dollar cover charge at OC Sports Grill and I also paid a bill of $14.56 and left a $3.00 tip since I was pleased with the service and with the friendly professional atmosphere that I experienced while watching the UFC 168 pay per view.

If you’ve had a similar experience at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Cerritos, CA. or at any other Buffalo Wild Wings and want to weigh in on the subject, please contact me.

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