A group of over three dozen members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority gathered this past Tuesday at a Cleveland Bahama Breeze restaurant. When one patron who was not a member of the sorority allegedly threatened to leave over the slow speed of paying their bill, the manager called the cops on the group to ensure the women, many of whom were in high-profile professions, paid.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:
Chante Spencer, who was among about 40 members of Delta Sigma Theta at the restaurant, said in an interview Wednesday that the trouble began after a woman celebrating with the sorority, who had been waiting 25 minutes for her bill, said she was going leave. The woman was not a member of the sorority but was with its members.
Spencer said the police were called even though the woman ultimately waited and paid the tab because the manager wanted officers to wait as other members of the party, who were spread out at multiple tables, paid their bills.
“Police were standing there to make sure everyone paid, which we felt was racial profiling,” Spencer said. Spencer spoke to cleveland.com as a patron at the restaurant last night and said she was not speaking for the sorority.
Caribbean-themed Bahama Breeze grille is part of the Florida-based Darden company, which also owns the Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse restaurants. Rich Jeffers, Darden’s senior director of communications, offered a brief statement to cleveland.com in response to questions about the incident and about the restaurant’s policies.
The group has been invited back by a Bahama Breeze spokesperson. Ms. Spencer, who let the Plain Dealer know that some within the group included a doctor and judge, wants the matter investigated.