Chili’s apologizes for taking meal from vet, manager put on leave

AJC File photo. FRANK NIEMEIR/Staff

After a very public outcry, the parent company of Chili’s Bar & Grill restaurants has offered a personal apology to the Army veteran who felt humiliated at the treatment he received from a Chili’s employee on Veterans Day.

A manager at the Chili’s Bar & Grill in Cedar Hill, Texas — a suburb of Dallas — took a free meal from Ernest Walker after challenging his military service. Walker, who had shown the manager documentation of his service, recorded his interaction and posted it to Facebook.

Read More: Army veteran humiliated on Veterans Day when Chili’s takes back his free meal 

In a statement issued Monday, Chili’s President Kelli Valade said she personally apologized to Ernest Walker for the manager’s actions and thanked him for his service to the country, reports NBC5 in Dallas Fort Worth.

The station also reports that the manager was put on administrative leave, not fired. Company representatives said Walker did not want the manager fired.

In response to the incident, an Arizona resident launched a GoFundMe page to raise $100 to buy Walker a meal. The page had raised $975 as of Tuesday morning.

Walker has asked that the money be used to feed hungry veterans.

Reader Comments 0

159 comments
Peter Clark
Peter Clark

So, are they gonna give the Veteran a new meal, or reheat the old one?

Cynthia Fink
Cynthia Fink

I would never use a business who disrespected our veteran. Never. They give him free meals for a year I might reconsider and fire the worker

Berry Hansel Pendley
Berry Hansel Pendley

taking that man's meal was not forgiveable.....if you deprive people of food in any case your soul is in danger of hell fire......chili's is only a very poor imitation of applebees....anyway....

Kay Barone
Kay Barone

There are more compassionate people out there looking for a mgr position.. .let him go.

Ola Walker
Ola Walker

What about firing him ? Why was'he not fired , he's just waiting on his next oppurtunity !

Journeynicole Crocker
Journeynicole Crocker

It's sad that it's 2016 and racism is still so strong in this world. These COWARDS actually teach that hatred to their children. It's hatred passed down throughout the generations in these families. They're just COWARDLY PATHETIC souls of a human being.

Lela Grace Flanery
Lela Grace Flanery

Am I the only one that confuses veteran with veterinarian when they say vet?

Lela Grace Flanery
Lela Grace Flanery

The title says vet not veteran you have to open the article to figure out it was a veteran. and honestly tried telling me that you have never called a veterinarian a vet.

MarciaFF
MarciaFF

I guess I don't understand why he wasn't fired

J J-Sophia Mullings
J J-Sophia Mullings

He's a good man with a heart of compassion. Sorry he was humiliated in front of other patrons. But God is good maybe that manager needed a wake up call. Bet he has a family of his own to take care of.

Nolan Young
Nolan Young

Negroe Vet don't speak for the people...ie Rodney King

Lori Rodgers
Lori Rodgers

Wow ! I couldn't take a plate of food from no one especially our Veterans

KU Wood
KU Wood

Im not eating at chilli's. Im Shock you codone this behavior from your customer facing managers. Know one in your Whole Organization is offend by this managers behaviour. SMH....

Denise Sternod
Denise Sternod

Leave! He should be FIRED ! With a trump stamp on his head !

ReginaHayden-Bryant
ReginaHayden-Bryant

A hero and a classy dude. Selfless, and honorable are what comes to mind. I wonder what the manager felt he was gaining by taking the word of someone who didnt even know this man. Its sad that people feel they need to interject themselves where they dont belong. Now find the nosy guy and demand he pay for his meal!!!

Peggy Grace
Peggy Grace

This is a situation whites will never understand what we go through. A white person can say anything & their word is the gospel. It reminds me of a white man in my home state of Wisconsin. He went to police & gave the license plate of a black woman who cut him off. An hour later a white cop was at her home out of the officers jurisdiction trying to arrest her. He lost his job over that. All on a white man's word. I get cut off every day

Wanda Cook
Wanda Cook

You should never embarrass a veteran over food that is rude this man fought for his country! For that matter you shouldn't embarrass anyone over food!!

Eileen Currie
Eileen Currie

Classy vet, but the manager listened to uninformed customers. Poor management skills

Charles Mitchell
Charles Mitchell

Like the Trump election victory, by not firing the manager, you are sanctioning his behavior.

Kaye Pate
Kaye Pate

Show what kind of person the vet is. Much classier than the manager.

Donna Bertone
Donna Bertone

As a vet l will never eat at Chili's. They should know by now how to select appropriate managers.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

He should get free meals for life at Chili's!

Linda Jones
Linda Jones

How are you just going to listen to someone who has no idea what they are talking about. I think this manager should do the right thing and resign. The meal was already served. That's the reason I don't get the free meals offered on Veterans Day. People's hateful attitude. My experience with Chili's the two times I went we're not good. As a African- American, woman, veteran and over 60 I don't patronize Chili's.

Diane Underwood Tims
Diane Underwood Tims

If you work for a company and if you work aroud people no matter what you or think you should tre areat people with respect no matter what if you can not then that is not the job you need too have

Evelia Ortiz
Evelia Ortiz

FIRE THAT MANAGER AND GIVE HIM COMMUNITY WORK FOR A YEAR SERVING THE VETS!

Latesha Green
Latesha Green

Only leave um ok. Thank you I will not be coming back

Jo Ann Guillory
Jo Ann Guillory

Too late! No excuse for this happening in the first place!

Kelvin Young
Kelvin Young

Here we go always wanting to take the high road I bet he would have had you fired if the tables were turned

James Pannell
James Pannell

Exactly.... And with all these racist comments all the time.... You're fired!!!!