Taco Bell wasn’t just named the best Mexican restaurant in America because of it’s poor customer service.
So, it’s no big surprise that the fast-food chain fired an employee who refused to serve a guest — who didn’t speak Spanish.
“This individual no longer works for the brand,” a spokesperson for the restaurant said. “This does not meet our customer service expectations (…) We have worked quickly to resolve with the customer to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
It all started when Alexandria Montgomery tried to place her order at a Taco Bell located in Hialeah, Fla. (For those who do not know, Hialeah has the highest percentage of Cuban and Cuban-American residents of any city in the United States and according to the 2010 census, 89 percent of Hialeah residents speak Spanish as a first or second language).
So, Alexandria shouldn’t have been too surprised that none of the TB employees spoke English fluently. However, she was not expecting to be turned away completely.
When she asked to speak to a manager, the employee, who identified herself as Luisa, told Alexandria, “She is in her house sleeping.”
In a video that has since gone viral, Alexandria documented her experience in the Taco Bell drive-thru, which went from bad to worse.
“I’m trying to order and she’s telling me I can’t order because she doesn’t speak English. Who’s wrong?” Alexandria asked before “Luisa” responded, “Can you move, please? I have an order behind you. There is no one who speaks English. This is Hialeah, I’m sorry.”
Other employees came to the window to try to help Alexandria, but no one attempted to take her order. At one point, “Luisa” even threatened to call the police on Alexandria for holding up the line.
Eventually, Alexandria left Taco Bell without her food. “I contacted the manager and after explaining to her what happened all she did was apologize and say ‘thank you,’ and the call was disconnected,” Alexandria explained to El Nuevo Herald.
As expected, many people were disappointed by the lack of customer service Alexandria experienced. “I get that hispanics/latinos want to better their lives.. We, as human beings are ALL survivors, it’s in our nature, regardless of race. I’m proud of the customer for sharing this with our nation. Hopefully, it will deter other people from behaving like this. I also would hate for this to paint all Cubans with the same brush,” one viewer commented.
Another added, “She understands taco, burrito, quesadilla, etc. She could have worked with the customer instead of completely dismissing her and refusing service. This is awful in America.”
However, some defended the employee. “Cashier seemed upset about something. She was not being helpful… something must have happened before the film. She seems pissed,” one commenter noted.
Another Facebook user agreed, writing, “I’ve known people to do this when someone was rude to them. Just because you hold the camera doesn’t mean you are automatically right. What was said or done prior to getting to the window? Perhaps the woman working at Taco Bell was tired of this other woman’s bulls–t. Is it right, no, but sometimes you can only deal with so many a–hole customers in a day. All I’m saying is that there is more than one side to a story and I don’t think our customer is being 100% honest about the situation.”
Popular Cuban-American Instagrammer Dairon Vazquez (@oyedairon) weighed in on the debate – and placed blame on Taco Bell, the employee, and the customer.
“My logic on the no speaky ingle Hialeah Taco Bell,” he captioned his video post. “La pobre just trying to work pero ya Cuba la dejastes atras, adapt to your future.”
He explained further, “In the first place, Taco Bell is at fault, the management, for not having someone who speaks English there. Also, the customer… the menu is in Spanish — taco, burrito, quesadilla. However, with that being said, there are some Cubans … that come here with a sense of entitlement … as if the country has to adapt to them. No, you are the immigrant, you have to adapt to the country you are in. If you go to Germany, you have to learn German.”
As the saying goes, the customer is always right and Luisa no longer works for Taco Bell. It was also revealed that her real name was not even Luisa and she was the general manager on shift that night.
Taco Bell also offered Alexandria a $100 gift card, but she did not accept it.
You can watch the full video of the incident below.