A Chipotle manager has been fired after a viral video showed her refusing to serve a group of black patrons until after they had paid first, claiming that the group had previously been there without money to pay for their food.
The viral video showed the unnamed manager and her crew members refusing to make food for the group of black patrons until after they paid for it. As WCCO reported, the incident took place inside a branch of the restaurant in St. Paul, Minnesota, this week. One of the men in the group captured video of the incident that quickly went viral on the internet, generating plenty of strong opinions on both sides.
As the report noted, the man who had shot the video, Masud Ali, had bragged a number of times on Twitter about “dine and dashing” at restaurants. He denied having been to that Chipotle location the week the manager had mentioned, however.
In an interview with the Star Tribune, the 21-year-old Ali said he objected to the tone that the manager used with him.
“It sounded really racist — the way she said it was racist,” Ali said Friday. “She asked for proof of income as if I’m getting a loan.”
Many commenters said that the manager and staff were not in the wrong if the group had indeed taken food without paying for it in the past, while others said they should have still done their jobs and called police or kicked out the group if they refused to pay again.
A manager at a St. Paul Chipotle was fired this week after a video went viral of employees refusing to serve Somali men and asking them to prove they could pay before taking their order. https://t.co/UfVIXHtfAv
— Mukhtar M. Ibrahim (@mukhtaryare) November 17, 2018
Chipotle said that the manager was obligated to make food for the group and should have withheld it if they were unable or refused to pay for it. The company fired the manager seen in the video. The company said it will be offering to retrain for the staff at the restaurant as well.
“Regarding what happened at the St. Paul restaurant, the manager thought these gentlemen were the same customers from Tuesday night who weren’t able to pay for their meal. Regardless, this is not how we treat our customers and as a result, the manager has been terminated and the restaurant [staff] has been retrained to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again,” the company said in a statement.
After some users found the Twitter statements from Ali bragging about eating at restaurants and leaving without paying, he refused to comment, citing the advice of his lawyer. The manager fired from Chipotle for the incident has not made a statement.