The fast food chain Chipotle fired a manager because employees refused to serve a group of young black men unless they first proved they had money to pay for the meal they wanted to order. A video of the confrontation — in which the men accuse the manager of racism — went viral. From the Miami Herald:
The footage, which has been retweeted more than 52,000 times, showed the Chipotle employees in St. Paul. Minn., moving on to serve a white woman without asking her to show “proof of income.” When the camera zoomed in on her, an employee said the food would be on the house because of the incident surrounding her.
“This is not how we treat our customers. We’re committed to treating everyone equally and with respect,” Chipotle said in a statement referring to the black customers. “The manager has been terminated and we are re-training everyone at the restaurant to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.”
However, it turns out that one of the men — Masud Ali, the one making the video — is a convicted thief who has a social media history of bragging about “dine and dash” — slang for fleeing restaurants without paying for food:
He also bragged online about dining-and-dashing from Chipotle before:
The Chipotle manager thought she recognized him from dining-and-dashing earlier in the week. From the Daily Caller:
Chipotle said in a statement quoted by the Star Tribune: “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.”
But Chipotle spokeswoman Laurie Schalow told The Daily Caller News Foundation: “We did discover [Ali’s] previous twitter posts from a few years back as part of our investigation. We spoke with him and directly asked him if he had been in that restaurant on Tuesday night and he said he had not been there in weeks.”
“We had no choice but to take his word for it,” she continued. “The manager said she thought it was the same guys, but she said she couldn’t say with 100 percent certainty. It’s a very unfortunate situation.”
Wait, what? You had “no choice” but to throw your own manager under the bus for trying to protect the company from a thief? More from the DC:
When Good Morning America producer Lauren Dozier asked Ali for rights to run the video on television, she received more than 200 replies from people, many saying things like “Don’t do it,” “Do your research,” or screenshots of Ali’s past tweets bragging of schemes to “eat for free.”
She responded to Ali “Thanks,” but did not appear to respond to any of these warnings.
Just a few months ago, another Chipotle manager was awarded $8 million by a jury for wrongful termination.
Chipotle is my favorite fast food chain. I eat there as often as I can. But if they don’t re-hire this manager — bullied first by Masud Ali and his crew, and then victimized again by her politically correct employer — I’m done with them.
Remember this summer, when a woke bakery in Portland fired two employees for denying a black woman service because the bakery was closed? After the woman went on social media and accused them of racism, the owner fired the two employees, despite their having followed the rules. The rule there, as at Chipotle, is that if you are a black customer, the rules don’t apply to you, and the company will fire you to appease your false accusers.
About Chipotle, if you are white, black, Hispanic, or Asian, who wants to work at a company that will fire you for not accommodating a known shoplifter? The company knew that Ali was a dine-and-dasher, but took his word over the word of their own manager. That is shameful and outrageous, and Chipotle deserves to be punished. I have never received anything but good service from Chipotle workers of all races, wherever I have encountered them. To think that any of them could be fired by an easily intimidated management for trying to protect the company from thieves makes me furious.
UPDATE: Possibly good news below — and an undeniably good point from Coleman Hughes:
Imagine how this story would’ve been told if the serial meal-thief hadn’t bragged about it on Twitter. It would’ve been called a clear instance of racism, and anyone who disagreed would be labeled an apologist or worse. https://t.co/uxhBFTAKzP
— Coleman Hughes (@coldxman) November 19, 2018
UPDATE.2: Chipotle has offered the fired manager, Dominique Moran, her job back … but she’s not sure she wants it. From her interview with the Daily Mail:
Dominique said that most of her wages went to paying off her student loans and that she had been saving money to perhaps one day have her own restaurant.
‘I don’t have any family in Minnesota so my family really was my Chipotle family. That was my life honestly. I worked a lot but I was very passionate about it and wanted to grow the store.’
Dominique, who regularly attends River Valley Church in the St Paul area, said: ‘I consider myself a Christian and I believe in Jesus Christ, I love to talk about that. If you had asked me before this how long I was going to be at Chipotle, I would have said a long time but now I’m curious to see what God has in store.’
She said that none of those who had led to her losing her job have apologized but that she forgave them.
‘It makes me feel really sick because they did this all with a smile. I forgive them but I only hope that they will learn from it.’
Dominique said that the experience has given her a fear of social media.
‘It makes me feel sick because I’m not really on social media and I got all this attention. This story blew up without any back story and it’s really scary. How many stories are out there are of people being judged, threatened and being called the ugliest of names but people don’t understand what led up to it?
‘To so easily be able to say, “This woman’s a racist” when you know that you’ve stolen from this business. It also makes me afraid for the people who are watching it online and who are eating it up. It’s too easy just to put something out there. It’s really scary – I don’t think I’ll ever want to be on social media again after this.’