ODESSA, Texas — A waiter at a Texas steakhouse who shared what he claimed was a racist message on a receipt from a customer, made up the whole story, his employer told a local newspaper Monday.
The server at Saltgrass Steakhouse in Odessa, Texas, 20-year-old Khalil Cavil, shared a photo on Facebook of the receipt.
The note, allegedly received while Cavil was working on July 14, said “We don’t tip terrorist” and was shared thousands of times on social media. It has since been deleted.
On Monday, Cavil admitted he wrote the racist note himself in an interview with the Odessa American.
“I did write it,” Cavil said. “I don’t have an explanation. I made a mistake. There is no excuse for what I did.”
Terry Turney, COO of Saltgrass, issued the following statement: “After further investigation, we have learned that our employee fabricated the entire story. The customer has been contacted and invited back to our restaurant to dine on us. Racism of any form is intolerable, and we will always act swiftly should it occur in any of our establishments. Falsely accusing someone of racism is equaling disturbing.”
Cavil initially told the paper he hoped the post would spur conversation “about this hatred that is still going on, that is still here and prevalent. I just wanted people to understand that.”
After sharing the post on Facebook, Cavil received money donations which he tells the newspaper “All money is being processed and being return(ed).” “Most all of it has been returned.”
According to the paper, Cavil is no longer employed at Saltgrass.
The customer he accused of racism was never identified. Before Cavil admitted he fabricated the story, the restaurant backed the server and had initially announced banning the customer.
“I’m sorry. I deeply made a huge, big mistake. And I’m in the process of getting the help that I need,” Cavil said.