Fernando Franco, the owner of an Italian restaurant in San Antonio, Texas, was surprised to read a racist message left behind by customers on a receipt.
Franco had stopped by his restaurant, Di Frabo, to enjoy lunch with his wife when an employee approached him with the piece of paper. “The manager came to me … and he said, 'that last couple, they left this note,'” he said.
In his year and a half of owning the restaurant, Franco hadn’t experienced this kind of hostility. The handwritten message read:
"The food was tasty, and the service was attentive. However the owner is ‘Mexican.’ We will not return. ‘America first.’"
Despite the message being racist, Franco’s response isn’t what you’d expect.
“I talked to my staff and told them, ‘The good thing is that they said that the food was tasty and the service was attentive, so I guess that’s a good thing,'” Franco told KSAT-TV.
Although Franco made light of the situation, he went on to say he can’t control where he’s from. “You feel a bit disappointed,” he said. “A little bit like you don’t know exactly how to react.” The Texan also owns two additional restaurants in Mexico.
Franco doesn’t exactly know who the customers were but he believes it’s the tense political climate in the country that’s giving racist people courage to be more outspoken in everyday settings. “I’m happy to see that most people don’t think like that,” he said.
Regardless of who it may have been, Franco invites them back to continue enjoying his tasty food.
A family friend shared a picture of the receipt on Friday afternoon. Since then it has received more than 21,000 likes and has been retweeted more than 12,000 times.