A waiter at a West Texas steakhouse has admitted that he made up a story about a customer who didn’t tip him and called him a terrorist on the receipt.
In a statement Monday, Saltgrass Steak House’s chief operating officer, Terry Tunney, said the company learned “that our employee fabricated the entire story” after investigating the incident further. “Racism of any form is intolerable. … Falsely accusing someone of racism is equally disturbing,” he said.
After those remarks were published, 20-year-old Khalil Cavil admitted that the story was a hoax, telling the Odessa American that he had written “We don’t Tip Terrorist” on the receipt. A picture he posted on Facebook showed no tip on a bill for $108.73, and his name was circled next to the message.
“I don’t have an explanation,” he told the American. “I made a mistake. There is no excuse for what I did.”
Cavill has since deactivated his Facebook account, removing the post from public view. At the time he posted the picture, he wrote: “I share this because I want people to understand that this is racism, and this hatred still exists.”
Tunney had originally released a statement supporting Cavil, saying that the customer in question had been banned from returning to the restaurant. On Monday, he wrote that the company had contacted the customer and had invited that person to come back for a meal on the house.
Saltgrass no longer employs Cavil, the company said.
The 20-year-old had said he planned to attend college in Dallas this fall and was working to pay for that, the American reported. He said Monday that he was in the process of returning money that people had donated to him after seeing his viral post.
“I’m sorry. I deeply made a huge, big mistake,” he told the newspaper. “And I’m in the process of getting the help that I need.”