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Patrons angered after being identified by race, gender at restaurant

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - Two African-American female patrons at a local pizza establishment became enraged over the weekend after discovering that an employee identified their orders by their skin color and gender.

Sylvia Faulkner and her mother went to eat at Your Pie, located near Coburg Road on Savannah Highway, on Sunday afternoon. 

They were celebrating Sylvia's birthday with some pizza, but immediately after placing their orders, Faulker's mother glanced down and noticed "BLACKCHICK" printed on her receipt. The daughter then proceeded to look at her receipt, where she saw "OTHERBLACK CHICK" also printed on the paper.

The cashier responsible, Courtney Nowell, is also an African-American.

The restaurant's owner, Cary Chastain, says that it's all a big misunderstanding, "She described the customers the best way she could, and she was in a very big hurry."

"She realizes now that was a big mistake and certainly against the way we train everyone to work here and that will not happen again," Chastain said.

Chastain also said that the incident occurred during a rare 4 p.m. rush and Nowell says she was just trying to keep the line moving.

"The first thing I saw was the color of her skin, which was kind of wrong [...] it's not an offensive matter or anything, cause I'm African-American as you can see, and I didn't mean no offense in the matter at all," Nowell said.

Chastain said that normally customers receive a card with a name on it -- often a celebrity's name -- but that they were out of cards at the time Faulkner and her mother placed their orders.

Sylvia Faulkner is still quite mystified by the incident.

"It just took so much extra work for her to type those letters in than to just put in Sylvia, which is far less letters than 'other black chick,' " she said.

Faulkner did say that the restaurant reimbursed them for the meal.

Copyright WCSC 2011.  All rights reserved.

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