Last week, waiter Khalil Cavil posted on Facebook that he received a message on a receipt from a customer saying "we don't tip terrorist," which went viral and garnered attention from around the nation.
It turns out the whole thing was a hoax, according to the restaurant's operator.
In a statement to the Dallas Morning News, Terry Tunney, the chief operating officer of Saltgrass Steak House in Odessa, Texas, said that Cavil made up the story after further investigation. Tunney had previously stated that he stood by the employee and that the customer who allegedly left the note was banned from the restaurant.
In an interview with the Odessa American, Cavil admitted to the lie.
“I did write it,” Cavil told the American. “I don’t have an explanation. I made a mistake. There is no excuse for what I did.”
After the story went viral on Facebook and in the news, Cavil said he received nearly $1,000 in donations to help him with college expenses. The 20-year-old now former employee of the restaurant said he was in the process of returning the donations.
“Most all of it has been returned," Cavil told the American.
Cavil's Facebook post had more than 15,000 shares. As of Monday evening, the Facebook post was deleted by Cavil. The photo of the receipt shows the note, along with a $0 tip for a $108 bill.
"At the moment I didn’t know what to think nor what to say, I was sick to my stomach," he had posted on Facebook. "I share this because I want people to understand that this racism, and this hatred still exists."