Dairy Queen closed after police say owner ‘proudly admitted’ to calling woman, kids racial slurs

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ZION, Ill. —  Dairy Queen has closed a franchise in Zion after a woman accused the owner of calling her a racial slur in front of her children when she demanded a refund for an incomplete order.

The incident happened at the restaurant located near the intersection of Sheridan Rd and Route 173, around 11:31 a.m. Wednesday when 21-year-old Deianeira Ford of Tinley Park, who is biracial,  was in the drive-thru with her two kids.

Ford told the Lake County News Sun she did not get her complete order, and the restaurant owner called her a slur when she asked for a refund of $5.

In a report the Zion Police Department released Thursday, the police officer who answered the call says the DQ owner "proudly admitted" to calling the woman and her children the racial slurs and said he "would be happy go to jail over the issue." He denied the accusations to a local newspaper and called them 99 percent lies.

The incident gained more attention after Ford posted about her version of events on her Facebook account. One Zion resident says a similar incident happened to him two weeks ago. The City of Zion said it does not condone inflammatory language, but the owner hasn't been charged with anything.

The owner later apologized and asked for forgiveness, but hours later Dairy Queen announced Friday it would be terminating their franchise rights, issuing a statement:

American Dairy Queen Corporation announced this evening that it is in the process of terminating the franchise rights of the owner of the Zion, IL Dairy Queen location, effective immediately.

The recent actions of this franchisee are inexcusable, reprehensible, unacceptable and do not represent the values of the Dairy Queen family, our employees, fans and other independent franchisees around the world.

We expect our franchisees and their employees to treat every single person who walks through their doors with the utmost dignity and respect. Nothing less is acceptable.

The restaurant will be closed until further notice.