Attorney: Client denies leaving racist note for Ashburn waitress

An Ashburn waitress claims a couple of customers left a local restaurant without tipping and wrote a racially-charged message on the bill on Saturday, January 7.

“Great service don't tip black people.” That was the note scrawled at the bottom of a bill at Anita's New Mexico Style Café in Ashburn on Saturday morning.

Restaurant server Kelly Carter said she was shocked by the message. At first, she said she could not believe what she was reading.

She said it was left, with no gratuity, by a 20-something white man and woman to whom she had served breakfast.

Anita’s owner Tommy Tellez, Sr. said, "I'm appalled. This is so disheartening."

Tellez said Carter is a loyal employee and beloved by her customers.

“She has a following,” he said. “Her philosophy for customer service is way beyond the norm. And we're really happy to have her.”

Carter said the man and woman were like any other customers. She said they acted no differently and there was no indication they were unhappy with her for any reason. She said the female customer even complimented the food.

“The lady was saying they loved the potpie meal,” Carter said.

Carter did not ask for all this attention. It was two of her regular customers – who witnessed her reaction to the message and who were outraged by the incident - who posted the photo on Facebook. By Sunday night, the Facebook post had been shared nearly 900 times.

The local chapter of the NAACP is also spreading the word. Hearing about the incident, restaurant managers said customers are now requesting Carter as their server and tipping generously. They said some are just stopping by to give her hugs and give her money.

“People were just coming in, dropping cash off,” said Tommy Tellez, Jr.

Carter thinks she recognized the male customer who left the note. She said she believes she recently saw him pick up an order of carry-out at the restaurant.

Despite the hateful message, she still showed up for her shift Sunday at 6 a.m. and she made clear she is not going to let this bother her.

“[The customer] didn't hurt me. He only hurt himself. He only makes me stronger,” she said.

In fact, she said if those customers were to come back, she would even serve them again.

“Just me serving them will let them know they did not get the best of me. And I truly mean that,” she said.

UPDATE: On February 24, a lawyer came forward saying his client did not leave the note "Great Service Don't Tip Black People" and maintains the receipt is fake.

According to the lawyer, the man tipped Ms. Carter one cent due to poor service and wrote "terrible service" on the bottom of the receipt left on the table. The man believes that someone reprinted the receipt and wrote zero tip and the "Great Service Don't Tip Black People" note.

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