CASE FILE: Applebee’s Boycott


In October 2015, an African-American couple enjoying a dinner at an Applebee’s Restaurant in Savannah, Ga. was attacked in a drunken, violent, and racist assault by former Savannah Fire Captain Barry Arnold.

Arnold recently pled guilty to aggravated assault and is serving a fifteen-year sentence, with two years in jail and thirteen years on probation.

However, Applebee’s has avoided taking any responsibility for its role in this drunken, racist attack.

Its franchisee, Apple American Group, released a statement claiming it had: 1) cooperated with the criminal investigation (false); 2) attempted to break up the fight (false); and 3) immediately released the video to investigators (false).

After the guilty plea was entered, the video and police investigation finally became public. Those records show that: 1) Applebee’s took fifteen days to hand over a video; 2) that video was missing fourteen camera angles – including where Barry Arnold was sitting; 3) the video and had been edited; 4) the video shows that a fellow patron broke up the fight while a manager looked on; 5) the waitress who served Barry Arnold failed to appear for her police interview – twice; and 6) the investigative summary shows that the manager and the assistant manager refused to meet with law enforcement.

Applebee’s actions in this horrifying attack have been self-serving and show that they do not protect their patrons from racism and violence. Worse, when law enforcement tries to hold a drunken, violent racist accountable, Applebee’s cannot be counted on to cooperate.

We must boycott Applebee’s Restaurants until Apple American Group: takes responsibility for its role in permitting this drunken, racist attack at their restaurant; ensures the public will be safe at Applebee’s restaurants; and requires its franchises and their employees to cooperate with law enforcement.