Olive Garden donating $5,000 to Ricky Smith's RAKE after restaurant incident

After a day's worth of controversy involving an Olive Garden restaurant and local comedian Ricky Smith, there's a new wrinkle unfolding.

On Wednesday night, Smith tweeted an update that the restaurant chain offered to make a sizable donation to his non-profit organization known as RAKE: Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere.

Olive Garden confirmed with WKYC they are donating $5,000 to RAKE.

This all comes after Smith claims that he was asked to leave the chain's Parma location after his party requested a new server Tuesday.

He posted the incident to his Twitter account, saying an African-American server told his party she "doesn't like serving blacks."

According to his Twitter recap, Smith and his party waited at the restaurant until police arrived. He says police told him the restaurant had a right to ask him to leave.

An Olive Garden employee called 911 around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to recordings released from the Parma Police Department Wednesday afternoon. 

A report states that one of the officers spoke with the Olive Garden manager who stated that the dispute began after a customer declared that the waitress who was serving the party made a comment about not liking to serve black people because they don't tip.

The group was denied their request to instead have a white waitress serve them, according to the recording.

The employee also told officials the group tried to buy alcohol for a minor. 

Smith disputes that claim on Twitter.

The restaurant released the following statement about the situation on Wednesday:

Our number one goal is to create a welcoming environment for every one of our guests each day.  We take these allegations seriously, and discrimination of any sort will not be tolerated in our restaurants.

Olive Garden’s executive vice president of Operations has reached out to Mr. Smith to personally apologize and invite him back to our restaurant to make things right.  The employees involved have been placed on leave pending the outcome of our investigation.


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