Restaurant Owner Lambastes Customers Caught Hurling Racial Slurs at Worker

The owner of a popular Chinese restaurant chain is publicly blasting a pair of customers caught hurling racial slurs at a black employee in midtown Sunday.

Xi'an Famous Foods, which has nearly a dozen locations in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, posted video of the encounter from the 54th Street eatery on its Facebook page Wednesday night. 

It shows two men -- one white, one Asian -- yelling at a worker in the background. 

"Being lazy is part of your community," the white customer shouts at the worker, then goes on to hurl racial slurs at him.

Wang said on Facebook he was posting video of the exchange because it "infuriated" him. [Warning: Video linked above contains disturbing language.]

"Take a look at these two men attacking our staff at our 54th Street location this past Sunday with hateful racial stereotypes/slurs, even going so far as screaming the n-word at them along with profanities," wrote Wang. "This is unacceptable."

Wang said he's banning the customers from all his stores, telling News 4, "These two are not welcome in any of my establishments, as our stores are places of tolerance for all of my valued employees as well as my valued guests." 

"If you're going to behave this way in one of my store, you're not welcome here," Wang said. "You cannot intimidate my employees this way." 

The customers were apparently upset because the store was no longer accepting cash at around closing time Sunday, according to Wang. They were asked to pay with a credit card instead. 

"The rest of the video involves our staff member explaining he cashed out already and he can only take cash, which upset these two," he wrote on his Facebook post. "Although he eventually still did take cash, they made fun of his name, and after they got their food, this is what happened." 

Wang told News 4 in an email that while his employee "handled the situation with grace, they were shaken up by it, and I want to prevent this from happening again as best as I can."

Wang says he's experienced his own share of racist attacks growing up, "but there's no way for me to fathom the African-American experience."

"I can only try to relate to how painful these attacks are," he told News 4. "It was very shocking and painful for me to review this video and to imagine what my employees felt at this time.

"I cried a few times while compiling this video, which, while painful to watch, I felt the need to show people that these racist behaviors are not a thing of the past, and we must stay ever so vigilant to not fall back on dark times in recent days," Wang said.  

Other customers on the Xi'an Facebook page chimed in to express their support for the eatery. One woman wrote that it's hard to explain what it's like to have the racial slur directed at her in a manner similar to what the worker experienced.

"The closest thing I can describe it as being is being stabbed in the heart. It knocks the air out of you. It hits deep," wrote Ty Gill. "No matter what the customer may have felt the employee 'did or didn't do,' there is no excuse to make someone feel that way." 

"I applaud you for having your employees' back and defending them," she continued. "The customer is NOT always right... You banned [them], but I will make up for their lost business and buy double next time. Thank you."

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