#HoustonsFixedTheProblem: Restaurant chain changes policies, begins diversity training

After several months of boycotting and behind-the-scenes negotiations between Hillstone Restaurant Group—which owns the Houston’s restaurant chain— hip-hop mogul/ activist Clifford “T.I.” Harris, businessman and activist Jay Morrison and his fiancée, actress Ernestine Johnson, a favorable outcome has been achieved. The company has publicly apologized, changed its dress code and seating policies and has agreed to utilize more minority vendors. Hillstone also began diversity training for its employees. Harris took to Instagram Thursday to call off the boycott and to confirm that the restaurant made satisfactory changes. “Our goal was to bring to light specific issues that we felt they needed to address and correct. I am proud of the progress made, and look forward to continuing the dialogue and working together in the same communities that have helped make their business so successful,” wrote Harris, who added that “#HoustonsFixedTheProblem.” Houston’s also released a statement on its Instagram page, saying, “Hillstone does not and will not tolerate discrimination on any level and is committed to ensuring that guests from all backgrounds are treated fairly and feel welcome. Our belief is in equal treatment of all. Hillstone’s commitment to inclusiveness is vital to our long-term success and we will continue to work and be actively engaged to foster a strong inclusive culture.” Houston’s on Lenox Road in Atlanta was accused of discriminatory practices back in October after it denied seating Morrison and Johnson’s party. The company originally denied those allegations, saying in a statement, “Charges of discrimination are not only unfounded but are an intentional manipulation using social media.” It eventually changed its tune as the boycott gained traction.    ]]>

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