On the 10th anniversary of September 11, a Muslim man going by the name of “Tarek G.” claims that he received an unwelcome surprise when he ordered a burger from Petrol Station, a local restaurant in Houston.
On the outside of the styrofoam to-go box that his food arrived in, there was a hand-drawn picture of an airplane heading toward one of the Twin Towers. To add insult to injury, the image also had text that read, “Happy September 11” (in the picture, the “11” was cleverly portrayed by what appears to be the two World Trade Center buildings).
I decided to order a burger to go and take home to finish watching the Cowboys game. When the burger came out, “Happy September 11th” was written on the box, with the “11” being the WTC and a plane flying towards it. […] I asked him [the bartender] to please take the burger away and give me a refund. He sort of scoffed and proceeded to speak with his manager, and within earshot, called my friend and I “assholes” for complaining about what he clearly thought was funny.
To be fair, the manager came over and provided me with a refund, but no apology or explanation. A bit stunned, we finished our beers and left it at that. Before leaving, I asked to get in touch with the owner so that I could voice my concerns – the manager asked me to leave my information, at the same time confessing that the “joke was f&$cked up“.
But it didn’t end there. Tarek continues:
As I walked out, I heard from behind the bar “Allahu Akbar…” [“God is the greatest”] repeated several times.
According to Gawker, the situation inevitably reached the restaurant’s owner, Ben Fullilove. After learning about what occurred, Fullilove reached out via Twitter to Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and others. Below, see his initial message:
In the end, the employee was apparently fired and the restaurant is attempting to ease tensions. In an interview with Eater Houston, Fullilove said:
“I understand the damage that gets done to your business, but I have to know for myself that we’re ok with that guy. I got a chance to shake his hand and apologize to him and that means a lot more to me than the damage to my business.”
Below, see some of the other Tweets that were sent out by the restaurant, apologizing for the incident:
Not the best PR, but the restaurant has attempted to right its employee’s wrong.