Atlanta’s Vortex restaurant is known for their awesome burgers but the popular eatery was recently accused of discriminatory practices after the actions one of their waiters.
A Black couple received what they considered substandard service at The Vortex Little Five Points restaurant earlier this month after their waiter “seemed as if he hated his job and or annoyed he was serving black guests.”
The patron decided not to leave a tip but was then harassed by the waiter’s boyfriend on social media.
Details + the restaurant’s response below…
The patron, Kristina White, tells BlackLivesMatterGreaterAtlanta.com that she decided to leave a zero tip, and noted her reasoning at the bottom of the check by writing “treat everyone the same.”
“The entire time Ms. White and her friend were at this restaurant they were treated with the utmost disrespect, and lack thereof,” wrote Sir Maejor Page, president of Black Lives Matter Greater Atlanta, on the group’s website.
On this very hot day, the server Gaven Greenberg thought that it would be appropriate to serve a “black couple” PLASTIC CUPS OF WATER WITHOUT ICE, but was caught giving a “white couple” LARGE GLASSES OF ICE COLD WATER. When our client Ms. White called out Gaven on this decision to discriminate by giving a white couple preferential treatment, Gaven was asked to replace the drinks and give the same level of service and professionalism, he reluctantly replaced the water and cups.
And as if the bad service wasn’t enough, the waiter’s boyfriend, who was also in the restaurant at the time, later located White via Facebook, where he left her several disrespectful messages.
For the record, The Vortex sprung into action to make things right with the patron and according to their website, the server, Gaven Greenberg, has been terminated and his boyfriend, Patrick Wilkinson, was served with a notice that he is no longer allowed on the property.
We sincerely appreciate you bringing this issue to our attention. Our goal has always been to foster an atmosphere of fun and mutual respect at The Vortex. We completely agree with the sentiment “treat everyone the same” and strictly demand it of our staff, with no exceptions. It seems as though we did not deliver on that promise during your recent visit. Gaven is a new employee who apparently does not understand our mission. In no event will we ever tolerate our patrons being bullied or harassed by anyone, including friends or family of our staff. We take this matter very seriously and will be taking swift corrective action. Rest assured, Gaven and Patrick will not be allowed to return to The Vortex.
We hope this will not deter you from patronizing The Vortex again in the future. We would be happy to provide you with a Vortex Gift Certificate in an attempt to apologize for this unfortunate experience.
The General Manager reportedly called Gavin Greenberg in on his day off to serve him with a separation notice. His employment was terminated for gross misconduct, with the understanding that he is not welcome to return to the premises.
In a related note, since Patrick Wilkerson is not an employee, the Vortex had their attorney draft a notice of criminal trespass, which was sent to Patrick explaining that he is also no longer allowed on the property. The restaurant also noted in the response:
Unfortunately, some people are just awful. So, all we can do is just keep trying to be good to one another.
Though the original Black Lives Matter article was titled “Why You Shouldn’t Dine At The Vortex,” I applaud the restaurant for handling the situation as quickly (and as classy) as they did.