ATLANTA (CBS46) — IKEA Atlanta is responding after employees told CBS46 Monday that the Atlanta-based store created a menu to honor Juneteenth, with items like fried chicken and watermelon.
The menu sparked outrage among employees and customers leading to around 20 people calling in sick.
IKEA released a statement to CBS46 Tuesday saying, “the meal was intended to be served to co-workers as an internal celebration, not customers.”
Employees told CBS46 the menu items selected were “racially insensitive and ignorant.” They also said no Black employees were involved in creating the menu, however, IKEA says that’s not true.
“There were Black co-workers involved in the creation of the menu,” a spokesperson said. “Out of respect for their privacy, we cannot go into more detail, and we take this as an important learning and shared responsibility.”
IKEA Atlanta released an official statement, which can be read, in full, below:
“In addition to offering Juneteenth as one of our paid holidays nationally, our IKEA Atlanta store has recognized Juneteenth with our co-workers for the past four years. To honor the day, a lunch menu was created with the best of intentions, including recommendations from black co-workers. We value our co-workers’ voices and changed the menu after receiving feedback that the foods that were selected are not reflective of the deeply meaningful traditional foods historically served as part of Juneteenth celebrations. We got it wrong and we sincerely apologize. We are committed to educating ourselves and putting a process in place that will allow us to thoughtfully honor Juneteenth in the future.” – IKEA spokesperson.