Muslim woman says restaurant staff put bacon in her drink

A Muslim woman is accusing the popular TGI Friday’s casual dining chain of tricking her into eating a food that her religion forbids: pork.

The chain, which has nearly 1,000 locations worldwide and which recently undertook a brand face-lift with a menu upgrade and restaurant renovation, says in a Facebook post that it is investigating her claim, noting, “we don’t tolerate discrimination in any form.”

Nicole Queen, who converted to Islam, initially told her story on Facebook, which was then published by The Muslim Voice blog.

According to her story, last weekend at a TGI Friday’s in Garland, Tex., she ordered a cobb salad but requested that her waiter remove the bacon. The waiter agreed, she says, but didn’t appear happy about the request.

Next, Queen says, a different server, who replaced her waiter, offered a free refill on her tea. Queen says she thought this was some sort of apology, but when she sipped the tea, her mouth filled with bits of bacon.

“I knew right away that it was bacon,” she told the local ABC affiliate WFAA. “And I knew right away that it had been placed in my straw because that was the the first thing that went into my mouth.”

When she complained to the restaurant’s manager, she says, he didn’t believe her.

Commenting to WFAA, a TGI Friday’s spokesman said, if Queen’s accusation proves to be true, it “would represent a gross violation of our values and the promise we make to each our our guests.”

On Wednesday, Friday’s national Facebook page posted this message about the incident: “We want everyone to have a great time at Friday’s. We don’t tolerate discrimination in any form. We launched an investigation around what happened yesterday and will take appropriate actions and update as more information becomes available.”

USA Today, 4 October 2013

See also WFAA, 2 October 2013

Update:  See “Garland restaurant employees to undergo training after incident involving Muslim woman”, WFAA, 11 October 2013