Missouri Valley College students refused service at their local Steak ‘n Shake franchise restaurant, “You’re lucky I served you niggers anything,” stated the store manager of the 24-hour location in Belleville, Missouri.
The fast-food chain Steak ‘n Shake is best known for its late night convenience, however, student-athletes and friends encountered racism served with their late night burger and fries during their first weeks in higher education.
On September 4, 2016, students entered the late night establishment at approximately 3:30 a.m. ordering meals and milkshakes. Their orders were taken by the store manager, Nicholas, who informed them that the chain restaurant was out of ice cream to make their famous handmade milkshakes. The students instead ordered sodas, then proceeded to pay for their dine-in meals at the front register. Several moments later, a white male patron requested a milkshake and was granted the speciality drink.
The students then asked a different store employee about the incident, in which she confirmed the necessary ingredients to make a milkshake was indeed available. Students then followed up with the store manager, Nicholas, to understand what they thought to be a miscommunication. Upon questioning his actions, he responded saying, “Frankly, I didn’t want to make you a milkshake and you’re lucky I served you niggers anything!” The store manager then continued saying that he didn’t care about the students’ complaints, being that this is the first or the last time that he has “handled” blacks. He then posed for a photo as the event was pushed to social media.
The family and friends of the students have contacted the corporate offices of Steak ‘n Shake for the 4320 W. Main St. Belleville, MO location and have yet to receive communication back from the company. Company representatives have no yet responded to media inquiries and messages.