A Florida Denny’s has apologized after a group of black customers were turned away at the restaurant.

Elijah Henderson Jr. told News4Jax that he visited the Lake City Denny’s with a group of about 25 members from his church, and was immediately told by an employee that they would not be able to accommodate them.

Henderson said there were plenty of other groups in the restaurant, and that he thought his group was being discriminated against.

"Is it the color of my skin? That's where I left it at. Is that a problem? Because everybody else was eating and drinking, and she was like, 'I am not going to be able to accommodate you all,’” he told the station.


Henderson said the employee claimed there was only one cashier and one cook working at the time. The employee no longer works at the Denny’s, according to News4Jax.

"There was another family that came in right after me, she was, like, 'You guys go ahead and have a seat. I will be with you momentarily,’” he said.

“They are wrong for how they treated us," he added. "Point blank, I don't care what you look like, or where you come from, I just want equality."

Denny’s corporate office said in a statement that the incident was “unacceptable.”

"We were shocked by the unacceptable experience our guests received recently at our Lake City, Florida, location, and sincerely apologize,” the statement said. “We simply do not tolerate discrimination of any kind in our restaurants."

Henderson also said Denny’s chief operating officer called him to personally apologize.

"He was like, 'Well, I work with a diversity department.' I was like, 'Well, you guys have to do a little more work because it's not working,’” Henderson said. “’What you're doing may be working at corporate, but when it drizzles down and comes to the franchisees, it is not working.’”