Local restaurant employees who intended to make a statement found themselves the victims of racist remarks last Friday.
La Parilla, a mexican restaurant in Watkinsville decided to close for the day last Thursday after many of their employees took the day to recognize a national protest called “A Day Without Immigrants.” They posted a sign explaining the closure and returned Friday to find the sign covered in racist remarks, including a swastika and messages saying “Trump Train,” “Build The Wall,” and “You Just Got Your Last Peso From My Family.”
Adrian Haro, one of the owners of the restaurant, says it is difficult to strike a balance between serving his employees and
“We just want to run our business,” says Haro, “It’s hard for us at the end of the day because our employees are immigrants and our customers are Americans.”
Haro says he didn’t expect the viral reaction following the restaurant notifying its customers on Thursday. He believes the backlash received on the door note was overwhelmed by customers who came out to support the business after hearing the news.
“This county is full of amazing people, they showed their support yesterday when a lot of people came out and gave us flowers, balloons [and] signs, says Haro, “They support us, they’re thankful for us, it feels wonderful.”
He enjoys serving his community and feels that the messages do not represent the people Watkinsville which he says is a wonderful county.
“I’m not going to take much importance about the messages some people made,” says Haro, “I know that doesn’t speak for the rest of the county.”
Haro says that people may think that the backlash on the notice sign affected the restaurant, but he believes it had the opposite effect.
“It actually felt very emotional because we saw the love for the community and we are very thankful,” says Haro.
While some individuals may have disagreed with the protest, Haro still believes in customer service above all else.
“We respect the opinions of our customers, and we just want them to know we are here, we are open, and we will continue our normal hours,” says Haro.
Going forward Haro hopes the restaurant can continue to serve the community, and he believes that customer satisfaction is his top priority.
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By: Cassie Daigle
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