UPDATE: We've received the following statement:
We have built our company’s foundation on core values of inclusion and equality, and we find any actions or statements to the contrary unacceptable.
As result of recent events surrounding an offensive social media post by Walk-On’s franchisee Brandon Hargrave, Walk-On’s Enterprises is terminating its franchise relationship with Mr. Hargrave, effective immediately.
Scott Taylor, Walk-On’s President & COO
We asked what that meant for the Covington location, and Taylor responded with the following statement:
Mr. Hargrave is the franchise owner of the Covington location and his franchise rights to own and operate any Walk-Ons have been terminated. The Covington location is currently operating and the staff at this location is not involved in the statements or actions of Mr. Hargrave. A transition plan for the ownership and operations of this location is currently in process.
A Louisiana restaurant has issued a statement about a franchise owner's Facebook post, WAFB reports.
Brandon Hargrave of Lafayette, who owns the Covington franchise of Walk-Ons, posted a video showing African-American children taking candy from his front porch with a rant about a "culture" that has no "character." He complained that he had put up a sign telling children to only take one candy from the unattended candy bowl on Halloween. The video showed children taking fistfulls of candy from the bowl.
Here's a screenshot of the original post, which has since been deleted:
Walk-Ons issued this statement:
"We have been made aware of the social media post made by Brandon Hargrave, the franchise owner of the Covington location, on his personal account and remained shocked by its offensive nature. We do not condone this type of behavior and although Mr. Hargrave’s location is independently owned and operated, we have urged him to make a formal apology. As a franchise system, we pride ourselves on providing a welcoming environment throughout the communities we operate, and are therefore addressing this issue with the utmost attention."
About an hour later, Hargrave sent the following to WAFB:
"I want to reach out and sincerely apologize for the inappropriate social media post made on my personal account over the weekend. I am regretful for making the post and am deeply sorry for the offense and pain it has caused. This regrettable action is not a reflection of my values or who I am as a person, my role as an active community member, or as a local business owner- anyone who knows my heart will know this. I respect and value all members of my community. I am remorseful for my thoughtless words, and ask for everyone’s forgiveness."
It is unclear how many restaurant franchises Hargrave owns at this time. In 2016, our media partners at The Advocate reported that he had "franchise and ownership interests in a number of businesses, including CC’s Coffee House, Planet Fitness, City Bar and Rickey Meche’s Donut King."
The manager of the Lafayette Walk-Ons restaurant tells KATC that Hargrave was never associated with that location in any way; she said the only Walk-Ons that Hargrave owns is the one in River Chase development in Covington. The public relations representatives for the company confirmed the manager's statement.