Craving a chalupa or a grilled stuffed burrito? Be careful to find a Taco Bell that won't turn you away for speaking English. A woman in Florida learned that sobering lesson the hard way.
According to the Miami Herald, video footage shows a drive-thru employee at a Taco Bell in Hialeah, Florida, turning a woman away because she didn't speak Spanish, sparking tremendous backlash on social media.
"The incident happened on Wednesday night, when Alexandria Montgomery was trying to place an order — in English — at a Taco Bell drive-thru window," reports the outlet. "The employee refused to take her order because she wasn’t speaking Spanish."
In the video posted on Thursday night, the woman grows increasingly annoyed with her inability to communicate her order, prompting her to ask, "Do you have a manager here?"
Speaking Spanish, the employee replied flippantly, "She is in her house sleeping," adding that there was no one else to take the order.
"Honey, I have a car behind you," the employee says in Spanish and closes the window. "Can you move please? I have an order behind you. There is no one who speaks English."
"This is Hialeah, I’m sorry," the female employee said in Spanish, even going as far to threaten calling the police.
Two other employees approached the drive-thru window but did not help the situation. Montgomery finally gave up and left without making the order.
Hialeah is considered to have the largest Hispanic population in the United States, according to the Miami Herald, with 89% of its residents identifying as Spanish-speaking.
When posting the video on social media, Montgomery, a black woman, denounced the Hilaleah Taco Bell as a "racist" establishment.
"Taco Bell in Hialeah racist asf," she said. "This lady understood what I was saying but didn’t want to take my order talking bout she don’t speak English."
In the video, Montgomery points out that even if the employee does not speak English, she knows the menu and would have understood a basic order like "number 6."
Taco Bell Corp. has apologized for the incident and told el Nuevo Herald that "this does not meet our customer service expectations."
"We have worked quickly to resolve with the customer to ensure this doesn’t happen again," a spokesperson said.
Montgomery said in an update that the Taco Bell employee has since been fired. Friends and followers on Facebook were mostly supportive.
"Hialeah is still part of Florida and, as far as I remember, correct me if I’m wrong, Florida is part of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, it’s a country where English is the language we speak. This is a shame for the Hispanic / Latino community," commented a Facebook user.