Dear Davis Community:
We are the owners of Woodstock’s, and we want you to know how sorry we are for any racist comments made by our customers. We abhor racism and hatred of any kind. We would never knowingly tolerate marginalization or harassment.
As soon as we were made aware of this incident last March, we began an investigation. We requested written statements from our employees who were there at the time. As verified by our security camera footage that night, as soon as our staff became aware of this issue, they escorted a male customer out of the restaurant because he was being offensive to two women. After he left, two women continued to be agitated and loud. Despite the efforts of our staff to calm them down, they continued to create a disruptive atmosphere for our other customers. We told them we would have to call the police if they couldn’t calm down, but they persisted. Unfortunately, we were forced to call the police, who escorted these women out.
Our District Manager investigated and was able to talk with one of the women involved two days later. (She posted a review on Yelp that gave us the opportunity to contact her. She has subsequently removed that review.) He also contacted by email another individual who was not there, but upset by what she had heard. He phoned her and offered to meet with her to discuss what happened and to let her see the video footage.
We believe that the key to resolving this issue is to gather the information from those who were actually involved and calmly discuss what can be done to prevent any such issues in the future. We have also sent Facebook messages to the organizers of this protest, but have received no response. On Tuesday we posted the above on the protest organizer’s Facebook page. That response and any comments that didn’t share the organizers’ viewpoint were removed by them. We respect the rights of people to have a protest. However, we believe that much of what has been posted, (by people that were not there) doesn’t accurately portray what occurred. Rather, it appears that the goal is to create a story that villainizes Woodstock’s and our team to justify a protest.
It deeply saddens us that anyone would think our team would purposefully treat anyone in a less than honorable way. Accusations of racism are extremely hurtful to the good people in our organization who are not racist and who actually believe passionately in being inclusive, sensitive and caring to their guests and the community they live in. It is tempting to respond negatively to the people who write hateful things. However, we believe that responding negatively will only deepen the divide between those who have experienced discrimination and Woodstock’s management, team members and all people in Davis that Woodstock’s strives to serve. Instead we choose to reach out to those people in love.
We applaud efforts by the organizers and others to make positive changes in our community and society in general. Our goal remains – to work toward healing and inclusiveness. We are still open to constructive dialogue on how to prevent anything like this from happening again and want to be part of a positive solution.
We have been part of the Davis community for over 30 years, and have employed people of every race. We truly celebrate diversity in our company’s culture. We have also supported many Hispanic/Chicano organizations with fundraisers and donations, including (in the last 18 months) Sigma Alpha Zeta, Phi Delta Epsilon, Mujeres Ayudando La Raza, Hermanas Unidas de UCDavis, and Danzantes Del Alma.
If you would like to contact us personally, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond as quickly as possible.
– Laura & Jeff Ambrose & the entire Woodstock’s Family