A Panera Bread in Georgia has fired an employee after she wrote “add watermelon for this stupid b—-” on a customer’s food order. The remark, a modification for a “Pick Two” salad, printed on the customer’s receipt. “I was floored. What are your morals? What does Panera Bread stand for?” the victim, Karensa Harris told a local Atlanta news station.
Harris immediately went to a manager, who said he’d speak with the employee and then offered to remake her salad. Harris felt the situation was not handled appropriately, so she reached out to the company’s corporate office and posted a photo of the receipt to Facebook, prompting a response from the chain.
“At Panera, we have a zero tolerance policy for this kind of behavior and the associate has been terminated as a result of this situation,” posted in response. “We are focused on fostering a warm and welcoming environment for everyone, and this incident is not indicative of the way that we treat our guests.”
The ex-employee, 20-year-old Toriana, told WSB-TV Atlanta she admits she was unprofessional in her actions that day. She alleges that the customer had degraded her following confusion over how to ring in Harris’ order.
“She said, ‘Do you understand? Are you stupid?’ At that point, I felt like, OK I’m not stupid. I’m not imcompetent,” she told the news station. “I’m new and I didn’t know how to provide her the things she wanted and the way she wanted them.”
Toriana says that if she could take the mistake back, she would. She continued, “I do not want to represent Panera that way. That is not the way they trained me. I’m not that way. There is no excuse to write that on a ticket.”
The television station contacted Harris, who claims she never degraded the worker but is happy that she was fired. “I feel like if I didn’t use social media as my platform,” she explained. “I don’t feel like I would have been heard.” She also says she won’t revisit Panera Bread for another Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with Chicken (add watermelon, no strawberries).