A Taco Bell employee has been fired after footage emerged of her refusing service to a customer at a drive-thru window.
Alexandria Montgomery shared footage via social media of the Spanish-speaking employee refusing to serve her, and has claimed this was an incident of racism.
Alexandria – who is African-American – explained:
This lady understood what I was saying but didn’t want to take my order talking bout she don’t speak English. [sic]
Updating her post later on, Alexandria revealed the employee had been fired and had given a false name.
The incident happened at a restaurant in Hialeah, Florida, a city with a high population of Spanish speakers. The video, which shows Alexandria being repeatedly refused service, has been viewed over 100,000 times at the time of writing.
The employee – who gave her name as ‘Luisa’ – repeatedly claimed no staff members at the branch could speak English, stating:
This is Hialeah, I’m sorry.
When Alexandria asked if she could speak with the manager, ‘Luisa’ said she was ‘in her house sleeping’. It would later turn out ‘Luisa’ had actually been acting as general manager during her shift.
Alexandria asked why she couldn’t simply make her order using the numbers beside the menu items:
She doesn’t want to help me because she don’t speak English. But you know the menu. You work here, so you would know what I’m talking about if I say I want number six on the menu. [sic]
You understand what I’m saying? Like, you just don’t completely shut me out because you don’t speak English, that’s not fair.
However, her request to order food continued to be denied and she left empty handed.
‘Luisa’ even threatened to call the police on Alexandria after she continued to try and order her meal. Two separate Taco Bell employees approached the window during the altercation, but reportedly failed to help Alexandria.
Alexandria told El Nuevo Herald:
This incident happened on Wednesday night around 10:30 pm. I contacted the manager and, after explaining what happened, all he did was apologise and say ‘thank you’ and the call was disconnected.
The address [of the restaurant] is 785 East 9th st. I do not know what I’ll do yet.
In a statement, Taco Bell said:
This does not meet our expectations of the customer experience. We have worked quickly to resolve with the client to ensure that this does not happen again.
This is ridiculous!!!! Thank God Taco Bell Management terminated that employee. Her body language and response to the lady in the car demonstrated that she did speak some English. She just didn't want to wait on the woman in the car because she didn't speak Spanish. Racist!!!
— Gary R. Patton SPHR (@GaryPattonSPHR) September 15, 2018
employee was wrong period…..good she got fired….
— mark porcelli (@nycboy61) September 15, 2018
People who’ve seen the video have been shocked and horrified by Alexandria’s experience, with many agreeing it was an incident of racism.
One person said:
Horrible! Yes, very racist! Yum Brands had best QUICKLY get a handle on this kind of blatant bias and disrespect. [sic]
This is ridiculous!!!! Thank God Taco Bell Management terminated that employee. Her body language and response to the lady in the car demonstrated that she did speak some English. [sic]
She just didn’t want to wait on the woman in the car because she didn’t speak Spanish. Racist!!! [sic]
Good job @TacoBell, no need for racist employees.
Just bad customer service.
— TattooedJuggalo (@TattooedJuggalo) September 15, 2018
According to NBC 6, Alexandria was offered a $100 gift card as compensation for the incident.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.