*An IKEA store in Atlanta angered Black employees with its special menu created to honor Juneteenth because it featured fried chicken and watermelon.
Many of the staffers said the menu was insensitive and they were left so outraged that 33 people didn’t show up for work on Juneteenth (June 19) – and some even considered quitting, as reported by CBS News.
Here’s more from the outlet:
Employees who requested anonymity due to fear of repercussions showed CBS Atlanta affiliate WGCL-TV an email sent Friday that said the special menu for customers and employees was one way to “honor the perseverance of Black Americans and acknowledge the progress yet to be made.”
The menu included items such as fried chicken, watermelon, mac and cheese and collard greens.
“None of the coworkers who sat down to create the menu — nobody was black,” one anonymous employee said.
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) June 22, 2021
“You cannot say serving watermelon on Juneteenth is a soul food menu when you don’t even know the history — they used to feed slaves watermelon during the slavery time,” said an IKEA staffer.
“It caused a lot of people to be upset. People actually wanted to quit. People weren’t coming back to work,” he continued.
Following the backlash from both customers and employees, the manager apologized in an email on Saturday. It said in part, “I truly apologize if the menu came off as subjective. It was created with the best of intentions by a few of our coworkers who believed they were representing their culture and tradition with these foods of celebration.”
The store manager amended the menu amid the uproar, but another employee said, “They just delayed the menu by a day, thinking that everybody who was upset stayed home on Juneteenth and wouldn’t notice on Sunday, which just added insult to injury.”
The revised menu included collard greens, cornbread, mashed potatoes and meatloaf. The original Juneteenth special menu was reportedly served the following day.
Check out the video report below.