An Australian restaurant owner has apologized for posting a Snapchat of an order slip that described customers as “two very annoying Asians.”
The image appeared Saturday on the account of Shay Hayston, who is listed as a joint owner of several Brisbane eateries, including Froth on Brunswick, No. 5 Cafe and The Stand, according to news.com.au.
“Omg I love my staff,” read the caption posted along with three laughing emojis with the offensive image on Hayston’s account, the news outlet reported about the receipt for the chicken and avocado croissant and fish tacos.
Whistleblower Alec Madara told The Sunday Mail in Australia that the post was “not OK” in light of a rise in hate crimes against Asians across the world.
“Was the intention to be racist? I couldn’t say, that’s not for me to decide, society can have their viewpoints and talk about it, I just know it didn’t sit with me well,” he said.
Amid the backlash, Hayston offered a mea culpa and said he wished “to apologize for the offense and hurt caused.”
“I’ve been a business owner in the Valley for more than six years, personally and professionally invested in diversity. I’m deeply disappointed and embarrassed at my actions as they go against everything I pride myself on,” he said, news.com.au reported.
“Internally, I and my team will do better to ensure we uphold the diversity and inclusivity that is at our core” Hayston added.
Freddie Wintrip, who said he was the manager of The Stand, wrote on Facebook that he wanted to apologize “on behalf of everyone at The Stand for what has happened in recent events.”
“Whilst this incident did not happen at The Stand nor were any of our beautiful performers, staff or patrons involved, it did not happen within our shared space. This behaviour is truly unacceptable and I cannot condone it,” he wrote.
The Stand shares space with Froth, according to the outlet.
“We are a family and a space that provides a freedom to express whoever you want to be. As a white cis male myself I understand I am coming from a place of privilege as I write this,” he wrote, referring to cisgender, a person whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth.
“Thank you to the amazing people of colour educating me since moving to Australia, I see you, I love you, I support you. The Stand will always continue to do the same especially for our BIPOC community of performers and patrons alike,” Wintrip continued.
“Many of us know the people involved in this incident. They have in the past done incredible things for our community. However they have made a very ignorant mistake. A mistake they must learn from, apologise and educate themselves on.”
The Strand said it “will be closed until a formal investigation within the company is completed and resolved.”
It added: “While these comments happened in our shared space, it is not condoned by The Stand staff, performers or patrons. We are also looking at options if and how The Stand can continue in the future.”