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An Asian American woman says Chick-fil-A put her name as 'China'. The chain says it's a misunderstanding.

Published by Business Insider on Thu, 01 Apr 2021

<p><img src="https://static4.businessinsider.com/image/6064d72a6183e10019819981-2400/GettyImages-536072155.jpg" border="0" alt="Chick-fil-A" data-mce-source="Getty"></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>Tina went to Chick-fil-A in Houston, Texas on March 22 to pick up food ahead of the dinner rush. She gave her order to the Chick-fil-A employee at the drive-thru, who also took down her name and put it into the iPad ordering system.</p><p>When she got her receipt, she was shocked to find that her name was listed not as Tina, but as "China."&nbsp;</p><p><img src="https://static1.businessinsider.com/image/6064d7546183e10019819984-2400/CFA_Receipt_blur.jpg" border="0" alt="CFA_Receipt_blur" data-mce-source="Insider" data-mce-caption="The receipt Chick-fil-A gave Tina."></p><p>Reading the receipt, for Tina, whose last name is withheld for privacy reasons, it clicked.</p><p>"Then it dawned on me," she told Insider, explaining it didn't feel like a simple misunderstanding to her.</p><p>"I always make a point to say 'Tee Na,' especially when wearing my mask," she said, emphasizing the two syllables of her name. She also scanned her app for the order, which she says shows the worker her name.&nbsp;</p><p>Tina says she was surprised and hurt when she saw the name they had put instead of her own.</p><p>"I'd hope that they are educated and I wouldn't have to deal with this" Tina said. She estimated that she had been to this location dozens of times.&nbsp;</p><p>That night she filled out a feedback form at the urging of friends, and she received an email from the location's general manager the next day.</p><p>"We want our customers to have a great experience, but it sounds like that didn't happen this time. We know we can't undo what happened, but we'd love another chance to get it right. I spoke with my team members from that shift and they informed me that they misheard 'Tina' as 'China' and that it had nothing to do with your ethnicity," the email said, which was seen by Insider. The manager wrote that they take the issue seriously and offered her a free meal to replace the one she'd purchased earlier.</p><p>"You hear about in the news, you see it, but I didn't think this would happen to me, especially not in Houston," Tina told Insider. "I don't care about free stuff, I just want them to take corrective action."&nbsp;</p><p>Tina emailed the manager back, asking for clarification on how the misunderstanding could have occurred given the difference between her name and the name that appeared on the receipt. She also noted that the interaction was face to face, so the speaker couldn't have contributed.</p><p>"I would think they [Chick-fil-A] would be more sensitive and take it more seriously," Tina told Insider. "I don't want to get anyone fired, I just want to know that they're doing something."</p><p>Chick-fil-A maintains that the employee misheard the name in the loud outdoor setting, and says that the employee feels terrible about the misunderstanding.</p><p>"Chick-fil-A strives to be a welcoming environment for all and believes racism has no place in society. &nbsp;It is our understanding that this is a case of a restaurant Team Member misunderstanding a guest's name. But that does not negate the impact of the words or the experience of our guest. We sincerely apologize for any harm caused by this incident," a Chick-fil-A spokesperson told Insider in an email.</p><p>A spokesperson also told Insider that the restaurant operator formally apologized.</p><p>Tina told Insider that she'd be satisfied if Chick-fil-A told her that they planned to "offer more training and reassure that they'll do more."</p><p>Later the same day, Tina received her last communication from the company: an email and voicemail from Chick-fil-A press relations department. The email, viewed by Insider, reiterated the claim that Chick-fil-A employees heard the name wrong, and said: "Please remember that most of our employees are young and do not recognize how something as simple as putting the wrong name can cause a catastrophe such as this and ultimately hurt the feelings of valued customers."&nbsp;</p><p>In Tina's last response, she let the company know she was still not satisfied and related her experience to what Asian Americans are experiencing across the country.</p><p>"Given the recent rise in <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/what-asian-advocates-say-about-race-gender-and-the-atlanta-attack-2021-3">Asian hate crimes</a>, discrimination against the <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/photography/interactive/2021/scenes-protests-stop-asian-hate-us/'itid=hp-top-table-main&amp;itid=lk_readmore_manual_16">Asian community</a>, and especially with CFA being headquartered in Atlanta where the recent shooting took placeI would hope that CFA would take this seriously," she wrote.</p><p><em>Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain' Email this reporter at&nbsp;<a href="mailto:mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com">mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com</a>.</em></p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/chick-fil-a-racism-accusation-from-asian-american-customer-2021-3#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/worlds-most-expensive-liquid-thoroughbred-horse-semen-2020-3">Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world's most expensive liquid</a></p>
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