Story at a glance

  • An Ikea store in Atlanta created a menu to celebrate Juneteenth that included fried chicken, watermelon, macaroni and cheese and collard greens.
  • Employees said the menu was racially insensitive.
  • Ikea Atlanta apologized and said the menu was created with the best intentions.

An Atlanta-based Ikea is apologizing for creating a special menu to celebrate Juneteenth that multiple employees viewed as racially insensitive. 

CBS 46 reports employees received an email ahead of the observation of the Juneteenth holiday on Friday that included a special menu with items such as fried chicken, watermelon, macaroni and cheese and collard greens. 

The move sparked backlash among employees who said the menu was offensive and curated without the input of any Black employees. 


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“You cannot say serving watermelon on Juneteenth is a soul food menu when you don’t even know the history, they used to feed slaves watermelon during the slave time,” an anonymous employee told CBS 46. 

The incident resulted in about 20 employees calling out in protest. 

The store’s manager apologized, saying the menu was created with the best of intentions by a few coworkers who “believed they were representing their culture and tradition with these foods of celebration.” 

A statement released to CBS 46 Tuesday said the meal was meant to be served to employees as an internal celebration and not to customers. IKEA Atlanta also said Black employees were involved in choosing the items on the menu. 

“To honor the day, a lunch menu was created with the best of intentions, including recommendations from black co-workers,” the statement said


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“We value our co-workers’ voices and changed the menu after receiving feedback that the foods that were selected are not reflective of the deeply meaningful traditional foods historically served as part of Juneteenth celebrations. We got it wrong and we sincerely apologize,” IKEA Atlanta said. 

A revised menu still included collard greens, corn bread, mashed potatoes and meatloaf. 

The holiday, observed on June 19, marks the emancipation of the very last enslaved Americans. 

President Biden last week signed legislation establishing it as a federal holiday. 


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Published on Jun 23, 2021