Dairy Queen said it plans to terminate the rights of a franchise owner in Zion who was accused of calling a suburban Chicago mother and her children racial slurs.
"We are in the process of terminating the franchise rights of the owner of the Zion, IL Dairy Queen location, effective immediately," the chain said in a statement. "The recent actions of this franchisee are inexcusable, reprehensible, unacceptable and do not represent the values of the Dairy Queen family, our employees and other independent franchisees around the world."
The company added the location has been "closed until further noticed."
Zion police were made aware of the incident after Deianeira Ford of Tinley Park detailed in a Facebook post an account of what she said happened, the Chicago Tribune reports. The post quickly started to spread across social media.
Ford, who is biracial, said she had asked the store owner for a $5 refund after not receiving all the food that she ordered, according to the Tribune.
The franchise owner, who is white, then allegedly responded by calling her and her children racial slurs, police said.
A Zion police officer who responded to the incident said the owner "proudly admitted" to calling the woman and her children racial slurs, according to a police report released to the Chicago Tribune. The man also allegedly said he would “be happy to go to jail over the issue," the officer said in the report.
It’s an allegation denied by the store owner, who told the News-Sun Thursday afternoon the accusations were completely unfounded.
"It's 99 percent lies. This is blown so far out of proportion it's stupid,” he said to the News-Sun. “Her order was confusing, and I told her, 'Here's your money back.' This is so far blown out of proportion."
The store owner does not face any criminal charges.