A sign discovered at the US fried chicken chain Popeye’s is under investigation claiming that it was under new management and would “reserve the right to refuse service to white people.”
The sign, found at the drive-thru of the Lake Saint Louis, Missouri branch read: “This restaurant is under new management and will reserve the right to refuse service to white people. We apologise for any inconvenience.”
A picture of the sign was shared on Facebook by a local resident and caused quite a backlash against the restaurant.
“Nothing racist here.. move on...” said one person in response with another adding, “That’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.”
According to the Daily Mail, the negative press that the restaurant received because of the sign caused it to close early on Wednesday.
However, the restaurant has protested its innocence and claimed that the sign had nothing to do with them and was posted as a prank. Speaking to KMOV 4, the restaurant's manager said “It was nobody at the store that posted that.”
Lake Saint Louis police have since confirmed that the sign was posted there “unbeknownst to the business” and is potentially linked to a string of vandalism that has hit the venue.
The police department is still seeking more information on the matter and can be contacted on (636) 625-8018.
In a statement, Popeye’s corporate office said: “We have been made aware of the situation and are investigating the matter immediately. This type of behaviour does not align with our brand values and we take such allegations very seriously. The franchise is cooperating with local authorities regarding this ongoing investigation.”
According to Lead Stories Chief Chris DiGiuseppi of the Lake St. Louis Police Department confirmed that although they haven’t identified the culprit, the sign had nothing to do with the restaurant. DiGiuseppi said: “Currently we are still investigating, however, we have verified that the business did not post the sign. We believe someone posted it, took a picture and then remove the sign. We are unsure if the person who posted the sign is the same person who took the initial picture. Additionally, the business had some vandalism that occurred earlier this month to their menu drive-through signs, which may be related. As of now, we have not determined the motive of the subject who posted the sign. We Are attempting to attain video and possibly still photos from the business. Once those are attained we will try to update the post.”