Chili’s server said customers left anti-LGBT note instead of tip

Chili’s server said customers left anti-LGBT note instead of tip. (WWMT/Courtesy Chad Miller)

An openly gay Chili’s server and Kalamazoo native received a hate note at work and after the Facebook post went viral he said he is speaking out to show hate will not be tolerated.

Chad Miller said it was a typical work day at the Chili’s in Mishawaka, Indiana. He served a young man and woman in their 20’s, but instead of leaving a tip, he said the pair left a hateful message that said they would pray for Miller because God doesn’t like gay people.

“My initial reaction wasn't all that poignant,” said Miller. “I just kind of brushed it off at first. It wasn't until a little bit later on when I got home and really started to hit me then that this was a message of hate."

Miller says he felt compelled to speak out. So, he took to Facebook, writing a message showing the note and also saying that everyone should receive equal treatment.

“For me, it was just a way of letting go to a degree, Just kind of getting it out of my system and letting people know that this isn’t cool,” said Miller.

Miller describes the customers as a man and woman in their 20’s. Their message coupled with their young age came as a double shock.

"Especially with all the support of the LGBTQ community in these recent years with marriage equality and things like that, I would think today's generation would be a little bit more accepting and open about these kind of issues,” said Miller.

Miller said the support he’s receiving shows hate is not tolerated. While some have offered to donate money to Miller, he said he doesn’t want money or attention.

“There have been some people who have sent me money via Facebook and I’ve simply replied and said hey, make this donation to Project Semicolon instead. It's not about me getting any money out of this,” said Miller.

He also has a message to the pair who left the note: “What you've done to me on that personal level, does affect me, but I'm not going to let it defeat me,” said Miller.

Chili’s management released the following statement:

We believe our ChiliHead Chad exemplified what it means to treat others how you want to be treated. While he did not receive that same respect from a couple of Guests he served on Sunday, July 1, 2018, Chad did not waiver on his passion to make every single Guest he serves feel special.
We do not condone hateful messages of any kind. We are supporting Chad as he is a valued Team Member at our Mishawaka restaurant.”
-Steve Hunter, Vice President of Quality Dining, Inc.
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