Two Kerbey Lane customers, Leilah Abdennabi and Sirat Al-Nahi, encountered racist comments from a diner while waiting for a table at the Guadalupe location on Sunday morning. According to Al-Nahi’s Facebook post, the man told the two Muslim women to "go back to Saudi Arabia," and that if she had a gun, "just go ahead and shoot me." They brought this up to management, who said they couldn’t do anything about it and seated the man instead. After confronting him inside the restaurant, Abdennabi and Al-Nahi left. The two women posted about their experience on Facebook and Twitter.
In response, Kerbey Lane issued the following statement on Facebook:
We have reached out to both of the guests who had a negative experience with another guest in our restaurant today and apologized, and we want to publicly apologize for the way this was handled. We do not condone discriminatory comments or behavior in any way, shape, or form; and according to our policy the guest who made these hateful comments to another guest should have been asked to leave our restaurant. This was a mistake made by our management, and we are addressing it with that individual. For anyone who has any concerns about Kerbey Lane’s policies, please contact us directly at or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kerbey Lane CEO Mason Ayer added a follow-up apology. He said he was "deeply saddened" by the incident, and he "regret[ted] how the situation was handled." He agreed that the customer in question should have been asked to leave. He wrote:
I’m sorry the situation was not handled this way and that Ms. Abdennabi and Ms. Al-Nahi suffered as a result.
Ayer informed Chronicle that he will work on training his staff to be able to handle these circumstances better in the future. Abdennabi also told the publication that she was glad the restaurant acknowledged what happened and wants this to become a "learning experience" for the diner.