MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The owner of Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar, Russ Graham, has been forced out of the restaurant.
This information comes after former employees spoke up about racial and sexism discrimination allegations that took place at the facility.
The letter from Flight to the Memphis City Council read:
Over the past couple of days accusations made against Flight Restaurant have circulated online and in the media. As an ownership team, we found these accusations both disturbing and unsettling. To the extent we have been insensitive, we are sorry. To prove we mean it, we are going to take firm action, as discussed below.
First, we want to address the pain our employees and guests may have encountered. As owners, we apologize for what everyone impacted has been experiencing. We sincerely want to apologize for that.
Ultimately our mission is to enrich the lives of our guests and employees and to create raving fans. Our goal is to do this through superior quality food and beverages, legendary customer service, sales growth, cost controls, and treating our employees like family. We believe that our employees are our most important resource. Our success depends upon creating and retaining a staff capable of delivering a consistently exceptional experience for every customer, every time.
The ownership group wants to make sure that we protect the families that earn a living in our restaurants. As such, we are going to start from the top and do everything we can to protect our teams to make sure they have the ability to work in a safe environment that is sensitive to their needs.
Here is what we are doing.
First, Russ Graham is no longer going to be an owner, affiliated with, or an employee in any fashion with any of the restaurants.
Second, we are bringing in a Human Resources firm to evaluate all policies, procedures and standards to make sure we are taking care of our employees.
Third, we will also conduct an investigation to determine if there were any violations that we need to address. To the extent we learn of any, we will deal with it directly. As many of these claims were made online, we must review them thoroughly to decide how best to move forward.
As a management group, we want to make clear that we will not tolerate in any of our restaurant groups – discrimination in any form, against any group. We are going to treat everyone completely equally and we also want be clear we will not accept abusive behavior by owners, managers or other team members to any other person.
We want to foster a culture that is safe for everyone. We are dedicated to treating everyone with respect and dignity. This is our direction, this is what we want you to know.
We look forward to serving the community for years to come. We hope you will trust our team to serve you in the future.
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