A group of diners at Peter Chang's restaurant in Washington DC were shocked over the weekend after receiving a receipt that had been printed with insults when they went to pay the bill.
Messages on the receipt, not intended to be seen by the customers, read "im a plad (sic) asshole" and "i have a small penis" — insults which appeared to be aimed at the customers, some of whom were wearing plaid shirts. According to ARLnow, the words were typed in by a server in response to a "particularly persnickety" diner in the group.
The authentic Sichuan-style restaurant is owned by former Chinese embassy chef Peter Chang, according to the Washington Post.
One of the diners, who only identified himself as Matthew, told ARLnow that the awkward dining experience began when one member of the group (who had previously lived in China) commented on the authenticity of the meal:
Matthew said the trouble started when one member of his party, who previously lived in China and speaks Mandarin, but is not Chinese, commented about the way the rice was served.
“One of my friends — who lived in China for 5 years — questioned the authenticity of how the rice was supposed to be served at a Chinese restaurant,” Matthew said. “Peter Changs [sic] served it in one bowl instead of individually, which is how I guess they serve it in China. I guess the waitress took offense to that.”
From there the dinner went south. The Washington Post reports that when the group tried to split the check, the server sarcastically replied, “That’s totally how they do it in China.” It's unclear whether the server had intentionally left the rude comments on the receipt or if they had simply forgotten to delete them.
The Post also reports that Qian Cheng, the manager on duty at the time, had previously warned staff about leaving offensive comments on bills (apparently to no avail). "They always do that," he told The Post. "I've told them so many times. And they did it again."
Following the incident, Chang released a statement saying that he had either already fired or planned to fire Qian, manager (and Chang's daughter) Lydia Zhang and the two servers on duty.
"I sincerely apologize to the guests who were offended on 05/07/2016 when they dined at my Arlington restaurant," he wrote. "I am deeply disturbed by the incident. I am sorry, my respected guests. I also apologize to all my friends who have had trust in Peter Chang. We made a mistake and let you down."