A cafe owner in Brisbane, Australia, has been criticised after he shared a photo on Snapchat praising his staff who had printed a receipt that said "Two very annoying Asians", to describe a pair of customers.
The man was initially defensive when others confronted him about his actions, but eventually released a public apology to media.
Posted photo of receipt on Snapchat
Shay Hayston, who is the owner and manager of Froth on Brunswick in Brisbane, reportedly posted the photo of the receipt onto Snapchat, together with the caption "Omg I love my staff", followed by three laugh-crying emojis.
Yahoo reported that a Brisbane local, Alec Madara, came across the Snapchat story and began to engage with Hayston about why he felt that his actions were inappropriate.
In an Instagram post on Apr. 2, Madara shared screenshots of his purported Snapchat conversation with Hayston, in which Hayston told him that it was "just a joke" and to "get a grip".
Madara replied that as the manager, it is Hayston's job to call out that type of behaviour.
"It's unprofessional and inappropriate," he added.
"Stop pretending [to be] the victim"
The conversation then shifted to Facebook Messenger, where Hayston told Madara that he "need[s] to get a hobbie (sic)".
"[S]top pretending [to be] the victim gurl! Ur (sic) so much drama", Hayston wrote.
"I'm actually doing the opposite. I'm calling out [behaviour] that's harmful to others, not myself."
In his Instagram post, Madara said that he called out the behaviour because "it is completely unacceptable in this day and age to refer to clients in this way".
He added, relating back to the recent spate of hate crimes against people of Asian descent around the world:
"Referring to someone’s race after negatively describing them is a dangerously thin line to walk, and many would say it’s racism.
It’s also potentially perpetuating negative connotations and racism towards Asian people, despite being unacceptable language to use to describe a customer, regardless of race."
In another Instagram post, Madara shared screenshots of the continuation of his conversation with Hayston, in which he told Hayston to "be accountable" for his actions.
"I am very multicultural and have a lot of different ethnical (sic) friends. If u (sic) wanna act like I'm a racist u (sic) do u (sic)."
"Deeply disappointed and embarrassed"
In a statement published by 9News on Apr. 5, Hayston said that he "personally wish[es] to apologise for the offence and hurt caused."
He added that he has been a business owner in the area for over six years, and that he is "personally and professionally invested in diversity".
"I'm deeply disappointed and embarrassed at my actions as they go against everything I pride myself on.
[...] Internally, I and my team will do better to ensure we uphold the diversity and inclusivity that is at our core."
According to Yahoo, all of Froth on Brunswick's social media pages have been made private. In addition, Hayston has reportedly also deleted all of his social media profiles other than his Facebook account.
You can see both of Madara's Instagram posts here:
Top photos via Instagram / alex_carthos.