Chipotle Chooses to Fire Manager, Retrain Workers After Black Customers Were Asked to Pay Before Being Served

The manager of a Chipotle restaurant in St. Paul, Minnesota is out of a job after viral video of employees refusing to serve a group of African-American men until they agreed to pay for their meal first.

“It sounded really racist — the way she said it was racist,” Masud Ali told the Minnesota StarTribune on Friday. “She asked for proof of income as if I’m getting a loan.”


Chipotle employees reportedly mistook the Black men for customers who were unable to pay for their food earlier in the week. (Twitter video screenshot / @MasudAliii)

Ali, 21, said he and his friends stopped by the restaurant on Grand Avenue for a bite to eat Thursday night only to be refused service. The group was allegedly mistaken for customers from an earlier night who were unable to pay for their food.

In a video posted to Twitter, one of the employees is heard telling the young men they have to pay upfront “because you never have money when you come in here.”

“Wow, we never have money?” the group repeats in disbelief. “So are you going to serve us or nah?”

The workers proceeded to serve a white customer, allowing the man to pay for his meal after the fact. When Ali and his friends question this, the workers begin to come up with all sorts of excuses for refusing to serve them.

“Note how this employee said ‘we’ve seen you guys come in twice’ and later say he never saw us in his entire life,” Ali wrote on Twitter. “Calling the police on loyal customers is super disrespectful and uncalled for. This unacceptable and I don’t appreciate these employees making false accusations.”

Chipotle addressed the incident in a statement Friday, saying the company conducted a “thorough investigation” and had spoken with officers who were called to the eatery, as well as the employees involved.

“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 statement read. “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.”

Ali told the StarTribune he didn’t appreciate he and his friends being labeled as thieves. He also questioned whether re-training employees would make much of a difference.

“I’m disappointed in that whole crew for not stepping up and instead accusing us of something we haven’t done,” he said.

Watch more in the videos below.

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