Father '˜racially abused' in sandwich shop

A father says he was racially abused by a shop worker when he went to buy sandwiches for his children.

Tuesday, 6th September 2016, 10:03 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th September 2016, 11:06 am
Subway at 243 Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead

The father-of-three, who wished to remain anonymous, went into Subway at 243 Marlowes in Hemel Hempstead, when he says a member of staff asked him “Would you like the veggie patty?” in a mock-Asian accent.

The customer, who is originally from Egypt, said: “It was a horrible, horrible feeling. “It made me feel very uncomfortable. Basically, she asked me if I wanted the veggie patty because of the colour of my skin.

“It was quite embarrassing, because there were six or seven people behind me in the queue.”

After the incident, which happened at around 1.30pm on Wednesday, August 21, the customer sat down with his daughters, aged 11, eight and five, so they could eat their lunch.

The customer, who works as a business manager, said: “My younger daughters didn’t understand what had happened by my 11-year-old said ‘Daddy, why did they say that to you?’, and I told her I didn’t know.”

Before leaving the shop, the customer – who lives on the outskirts of Hemel Hempstead – raised the issue with the shop manager but says he was told the member of staff in question was new.

He said: “I didn’t want to make a scene but as far as I’m concerned, that’s not an excuse.

“I’m not after a free sandwich or compensation or anything like that, I just want them to acknowledge what happened.

“If their staff are making assumptions about people based on the colour of their skin, then that’s wrong.

“It feels like they are brushing it under the carpet.”

A spokesman for Subway said: “We take any report of racial abuse very seriously and has investigated the incident as a matter of priority.

“We have been assured that any comments made were not racially directed, nor was an accent put on but that the member of staff had a strong Polish accent and did not mean to offend.

“The franchisee of the SUBWAY® store in questions has been in contact with the customer and offered him some meals in store in recognition of any discomfort he may have experienced.”