Dairy Queen has closed down one of its stores near Chicago and terminated its relationship with the franchise owner he used vile racial slurs in an angry confrontation with a customer.
A police report said the franchise owner, Jim Crichton, told an officer he admitted using the N-word against Deianeira Ford, 21, and her children at the store in Zion, Illinois.
He also said he was ‘fed up with black people’ and would go to jail over the issue.
According to the report, Ms Ford said Crichton called her and her children the N-word after she asked for a $5 refund for a mixed-up food order in the drive-thru.
Ms Ford, the mother of a two-year-old daughter and a five-month-old son, said: ‘It was really just upsetting especially with having my children in the car. I mean, no one deserves to be treated like that.’
The incident prompted protesters to gather outside the Dairy Queen on Saturday.
Ms Ford, who lives in Tinley Park, south of Chicago, said she had hired an attorney and was considering legal action.
Mr Crichton apologized in a statement provided by American Dairy Queen Corporation and said he would undergo sensitivity training.
He said: ‘My actions were inexcusable and unacceptable. I can only ask for forgiveness and try to make it up to all involved.’
Dairy Queen said Mr Crichton’s behavior had been ‘reprehensible’ and did not represent the chain’s values.
Police chief Stephen Dumyahn said: ‘I’m disgusted and discouraged by the comments made by this business owner. I reached out to Miss Ford to tell her that this does not represent the diverse community of Zion.’
Zion, which is about 50 miles north of downtown Chicago, has a mixed demographic – 49 per cent white and 31 per cent African-American.