Monday, November 19, 2018

Chipotle has rehired the manager that it had fired for refusing to serve customers she suspected of dining and dashing

Chipotle has rehired the manager that was fired in response to a viral video, in which she was accused of racially profiling customers.

On Friday, a Twitter user named Masud Ali tweeted a video of himself and a group of friends being refused service at a Chipotle restaurant in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Ali and his friends claim in the video that employees were stereotyping them, as a group of young black men, as not having money to pay for their meals. The video went viral, and Chipotle, later on Friday, announced that the manager who refused to serve Ali and his friends had been fired.

The video has been viewed more than 6.5 million times as of early Monday.

Read more: Chipotle is under fire after terminating a manager who refused to serve customers she suspected of dining and dashing, and it reveals a massive problem plaguing restaurants and retailers

Over the weekend, however, many people came to the fired manager's defense.

Critics of Chipotle's decision found tweets of Ali's (some of which are years old) that seemed to indicate he had a history of dining and dashing, a theft in which customers order and receive food without paying. The tweets, which Ali has since deleted, include one that says "Dine and dash is forever interesting."

On Monday, Chipotle announced that the chain had decided to rehire the manager after reviewing evidence.

"Based on our review, we have offered our manager her job back," Chipotle said in a statement to Business Insider. "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."

The incident highlights the difficulties restaurants and retailers face when attempting to address issues such as shoplifting and dining and dashing, while also grappling with the history of racial profiling.

Retailers including Victoria's Secret, Walmart, and Macy's all have policies that discourage employees from directly engaging with suspected shoplifters. These policies are meant to maintain employee safety as well as to prevent racial profiling of customers.

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