An IKEA in Atlanta sparked outrage among employees and customers after the store created a special Juneteenth menu with racially insensitive food items, CBS46 Atlanta reported. The menu—which the store told employees was intended to “honor the perseverance of Black Americans”—included dishes like fried chicken, watermelon, and mac and cheese. Staff responded by calling out of work and expressing anger for the ignorant and insensitive depiction of African-American culture and history. “You cannot say serving watermelon on Juneteenth is a soul food menu when you don’t even know the history, they used to feed slaves watermelon during the slave time,” said an employee who chose to remain anonymous. Black employees said they weren’t included in the process creating the menu.
The store’s manager emailed an apology to workers, saying the menu was created with “the best of intentions.” The IKEA location then released a revised menu that still included foods like collard greens, cornbread and mashed potatoes. Customers also felt the menu was disrespectful to employees. “I’m just frankly disappointed in the learning process—you shouldn’t learn after you have insulted all of your Black employees,” said a Black customer.