Spur Steak Ranches has been left with a public relations nightmare as it tries to deal with the aftermath of a vulgar and apparently racist verbal exchange at its Texamo Spur at the Glen, south of Johannesburg.
A video has emerged showing two parents exchanging words at the eatery.
The video shows a man threatening to beat up a woman. The altercation takes place in front of children and other patrons as well as staff members. The situation quickly escalates with swear words being thrown around between the two parents.
The man can be seen getting violent and at one point he grabs the table and picks it up from the floor. Some patrons and waiters intervene to stop him but the verbal exchange continues.
The incident is said to have occurred on March 19 but the restaurant only released a statement on March 21 addressing the incident. That angered a lot of people on social media with others calling for the restaurant to be boycotted.
The company said it had been alerted to the unfortunate incident.
“Upon viewing the video content that’s been circulated on Social Media we are shocked at the adults for behaving in the manner they did, especially with so many children around. As a family restaurant, Spur does not condone this type of behaviour. We have investigated the incident with Texamo Spur staff and management, who expressed that they did, in fact, try to intervene, but were pushed away numerous times by the angry male customer. As soon as the incident escalated, Texamo Spur staff notified The Glen Shopping Mall security,” the company said in a statement.
Spur has subsequently barred the man from visiting any of their restaurants in the country. The company said it did not condone any forms of violence against women or children, irrespective of the circumstances.
However, it’s not clear how Spur would enforce the man’s ban since no identity documents are required when visiting its outlets.
“We are very disappointed that children were exposed to this type of behaviour and would like to assure the public and all our loyal customers that we will not be taking this incident lightly,” said the company.
Spur is not the first company to find its self at the of PR nightmare due to patrons behaviour.
In 2012, Virgin Active also had to ban a member after a racist incident at its Sunninghill gym.
Lesley Mofokeng laid a criminal charge after he was insulted at the gym in Johannesburg. A fellow gym member called Mofokeng a “boy” and accused him of “hogging the equipment”.
“The guy came and started shouting and said, ‘You black guys take everything. We know this is your fucking country, but you do not have to control everything.”
Virgin Active notified Mofokeng that the man who hurled abuse at him had his membership cancelled and would be banned from all clubs.
Earlier this year, Planet Fitness also had to deal with a racial fight among its patrons. A black woman was reportedly told by a white gym member that she stinks and has Aids.
Lisa Sidukwana said she was left perplexed by the statements made by the woman. She was further left disheartened by the manner in which the gym manager of the Planet Fitness in Sandton handled the situation.
She said she went to the sauna and removed her clothes before putting them next to the sauna stove. While relaxing in the sauna, Sidukwana alleges that a young white woman walked in and demanded to know whose clothes they were.
“I told her they were mine, without paying much attention to her aggressive approach. She then said my clothes stink and I also stink. I told her that, if my clothes stink and I stink too, she should not yell at me as I have a right to use the facility as a gym member. She then left,” she said.
A few minutes later, Sidukwana was summoned to the manager’s office to give her side of the story but she was not happy with the process that followed.
“I was still shocked by his reaction [when] the white lady came rushing into the office, directly approached me in a rage and attacked me in front of him. He didn’t stop her until I reached for her to try to defend myself. Then he stopped me. She stormed out and walked towards the reception area, yelling and saying I look like I have Aids and that’s why I stink. She repeated that it was unhygienic for her to touch me or be in the steam room with me,” she said.
In response to the incident, Planet Fitness said it was a multicultural company and, therefore, they did not accept or tolerate any form of racism at their clubs.
“We are taking the appropriate measures to ensure that this situation gets resolved as soon as possible, and that we reach a suitable outcome for all parties involved.”
To view the video visit www.africantimesnews.co.za