Home / Full timeline / Denny’s restaurant chain faces new discrimination allegations after six Black Secret Service agents file a lawsuit claiming that a Denny’s in Annapolis, Maryland, refused to serve them.
Denny’s restaurant chain faces new discrimination allegations after six Black Secret Service agents file a lawsuit claiming that a Denny’s in Annapolis, Maryland, refused to serve them.
1993 (May 24)
A little more than a month after announcing it had reached a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department in a racial discrimination complaint, the Denny's restaurant chain faced still more allegations or bias against Blacks. In Baltimore, Maryland, six Black Secret Service agents filed a lawsuit claiming that a Denny's in Annapolis, Maryland, had refused to serve them. They had been in town on April 1 with fifteen other agents preparing for a visit by the president. They stopped at a Denny's for breakfast and placed their orders. When no food was delivered, they ordered again several more times. After about an hour, they left the restaurant without having eaten. According to reports, a group of white agents at a nearby table was served promptly. Denny's officials insisted the problem was related to poor service, not racial discrimination. They said they had fired the manager of the Annapolis restaurant for failing to report the agents' complaints. The company later agreed to work with the NAACP to visit Denny's restaurants at random throughout the country to make sure Blacks were receiving fair treatment. The company also promised to hire more minorities, and the NAACP said it would help provide sensitivity training. According to newspaper reports, at least ten other complaints had surfaced in five different states since Denny's had promised to make changes in its operations back in April. In June, the company hired Black food executive Norman Hill to serve in the newly created job of vice president of human resources. His job was to help make sure Denny's anti-discrimination policies were followed at the chain's restaurants throughout the country.