A Spanish-speaking Taco Bell employee in Florida was axed after refusing to serve a non-Spanish speaking customer. In a video posted on Facebook, captures a Taco Bell employee telling a woman at a drive-through that she couldn’t take her order because no one working at the store spoke English. The video was posted Wednesday by Alexandria Montgomery. She along with one more person in the car were at the drive-through window at a Taco Bell in Hialeah, a city north of Miami’s airport that is predominantly Latino.
The video shows the employee at the restaurant appears to become annoyed when customer Alexandria tried placing her order in English as reported by local papers including the Miami Herald. Alexandria asked to speak the manager, but the employee said in Spanish: “She is in her house sleeping,” in a dismissive tone before saying, “Honey, I have a car behind you” and closed the window.
Watch Video of Spanish-Speaking Taco Bell Worker Refusing to Take Customer’s Order
The employee identified herself in the video as Luisa and threatened to call the police after Alexabdria refused to move ahead. The employee says in Spanish: “Can you move, please? I have an order behind you. There is no one who speaks English. This Hialeah, I’m sorry.” The video also shows that two other Taco Bell employees coming to the drive-thru window, but neither helps Montgomery place her order. The customer ultimately leaves without making a purchase.
Montogomery told El Nuevo Herald, “This incident happened Wednesday night around 10:30 pm. I contacted the manager and after explaining to her what happened all she did was apologise and said, ‘thank you’ and the call was disconnected.” Taco Bell responded to decline but released a statement which said, “This individual no longer works for the brand. A spokesperson told El Nuevo Herald that ‘this does not meet our customer service expectation’ and ‘we have worked quickly to resolve with the customer to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
Although it is not clear, there are some indications that the dispute was rather racist than mere a language barrier. When a co-worker walks up to the window and talks to the employee, she asks her to give the car a menu. But the employee says she doesn’t understand what the people are saying in the car were saying and then later, “I don’t want to.” Montogomery, who is black, said on Facebook that she thought the episode was motivated by racism than the inability of the worker to understand her. She wrote: “Taco Bell in Hialeah racist. The lady understood what I was saying but didn’t want to take my order.” The video garnered thousands of comments and shares on social media.