Chipotle Fires Manager Over Racism Claims, Then Realizes They Were Wrong
St. Paul, MN – A savvy Chipotle manager was fired after a video showed her refusing to serve a group of black men until they showed that they had money (video below).
Now, the company has rehired her after it was shown that the men had a history of stealing food without paying.
“You gotta pay because you never have money when you come in here, bro!” the manager told the group of five men in the video, which was posted to Twitter on Friday by 21-year-old Masud Ali, according to the Tribunist.
“You all basically stereotyping us,” one of the men replied.
“We’re not going to make food unless you guys actually have money,” another employee reiterated.
The men then began hollering at another customer and demanded to know why he didn’t have to pay before the restaurant staff made his food.
The manager remained calm as she rang up an order for yet another customer, and apologized for the men’s heckling and disruption, another video showed.
“Can a group of young well established African American get a bit to eat after a long workout session @Chipotle Tweets??” Ali captioned one of the videos, which has been viewed over seven million times as of Monday afternoon.
“It sounded really racist — the way she said it was racist,” Ali told the Star Tribune on Friday. “She asked for proof of income as if I’m getting a loan.”
In an initial statement, Chipotle said they had completed a “thorough investigation” with the assistance of law enforcement the manager summonsed to the restaurant.
“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,” the company’s statement read, according to the Star Tribune.
“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,” Chipotle said.
But within hours of the video going viral, Twitter users flocked to Ali’s page and dug up old tweets where he admitted that he had stolen food at various restaurants in the past.
“Dine and dash is forever interesting,” he tweeted in July of 2015, according to the Tribunist.
“…if you a real -ss n---a we finna goto Applebees and eat as much as we can and tip the nice lady 20cents and walk the f--k out,” another post read.
Later in the thread, Ali explained that it was “not a dine and dash we’re just borrowing the food for a couple hours that all.”
“Guys we’re borrowing food,” Ali wrote in another post, according to the Miami Herald. “If the lady tries to sop you at the door don’t hesitate to truck the s---t out of that b---h.”
On Sunday, as news of Ali's previous posts spread, Chipotle began to backpedal on their decision to fire the manager.
"Our actions were based on the facts known to us immediately after the incident, including video footage, social media posts and conversations with the customer, manager, and our employees," Chipotle Chief Communications Officer Laurie Schalow told FOX News.
"We now have additional information which needs to be investigated further,” Schalow said. “We want to do the right thing, so after further investigation we will re-train and re-hire if the facts warrant it."
Chipotle representatives also admitted that the former manager may have been correct when she alleged that Ali and his crew were the same men who had not paid for their food at the store several days earlier.
“We are not able to confirm that with 100 percent certainty,” Schalow said, according to FOX News. “We asked Masud if he was in our restaurant on Tuesday and he said no.”
The company then offered to rehire Ali.
"Based on our review, we have offered our manager her job back," Chipotle said in a statement, according to NBC News. "While our normal protocol was not followed serving these customers, we publicly apologize to our manager for being put in this position. We will work to continue to ensure that we support a respectful workplace for our employees and our customers alike."
Ali has not said if she will accept the offer to get her old job back.
You can watch the viral footage in the videos below: