Luring Lady’s Delray Beach Encounter Shows The Restaurant Industry Still Has an Accountability Problem

A recent video by Social Media personality ‘Luring Lady’ shows that the restaurant industry has a long ways to go when it comes to dealing with both accountability and racism. 

In the video, Luring Lady ordered chicken wings from Johnnie Browns in Delray Beach, Florida that did not meet her expectations based on a single bite. She attempted to request something new as anyone would, and yet the response from the bartender was nothing short of unacceptable.  The white bartender handed a menu to her and gave her an attitude about the situation.  The bartender then proceeded to ignore her until Luring Lady decided to leave the establishment. 

This is where the real story begins, however.  The bartender literally went running after her shouting and demanding to pay for the wings down the street.  The same eight wings remained on the dish that Luring Lady originally ordered uneaten, and yet the waitress made a public scene as if others would come to her defense and try to stop Luring Lady or even something worse.  Luring Lady decided to go back to the establishment to confront the situation, which at one point included the bartender physically refusing to let her leave and calling the police on her.  

The bartender, 35-year-old  Jennifer Miceli, clearly thought it was against the law for a black person to not pay for chicken wings that they didn’t eat. She was proved wrong when her manager and the police reviewed the situation and agreed with Luring Lady—she didn’t eat what she ordered, and therefore no crime was committed when she left without paying for them.

Anyone who has been a bartender for practically any length of time knows that if a customer orders something they do not like and ask to have it brought back to the kitchen without eating it, they do not have to pay for it.  There will always be times when customers dislike something about a dish, and restaurant staff should have the professionalism to take it back and let them order another dish instead.  As stated originally, Luring Lady was intending on getting something else instead, but Miceli’s immediate response and aftermath is indicative of the need for the restaurant industry in general to combat racism and promote greater accountability in workplaces. 

No bartender would do as Miceli did without some sort of ulterior motive or prejudice against a customer such as Luring Lady, and one has to wonder after watching the video whether drugs (or a lack thereof) were involved as well.  It is obvious that there is a shortage of workers within the restaurant industry, but this does not mean practically anyone off the street should be given public-facing positions if they are not truly deserving of them, especially in tourist-heavy regions where there are going to be diverse groups of people eating. 

What Luring Lady did in videoing the encounter was important for two main reasons.  The first is that it shows the need for these encounters to be made public.  Would Derek Chauvin be in jail today if someone had not videoed the encounter with George Floyd?  To be completely honest, probably not.  It brought to the public eye the need for greater accountability within police departments, and Luring Lady’s video does something similar with regard to the restaurant industry.  It certainly was not the first time something like this has happened, but by videoing the encounters it creates greater accountability at the end of the day.  The restaurant can’t say it never happened or push their own narrative that is far from the truth. 

The second reason why videoing the encounter was important is that it highlights the need to continue combating racism in the public domain.  Racism unfortunately has not gone away, and the video shows that we need to continue to address the issue and not put it to the side.  Doing so would only allow it to perpetuate.  

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