ST. PAUL - Chipotle is reconsidering its decision to fire a St. Paul restaurant manager for refusing to serve five young black men whom employees accused of being repeat dine-and-dashers in a viral video.
In the video, which was posted to Twitter by 21-year-old Masud Ali on Thursday, Ali and his friends accuse the restaurant’s staff of racial stereotyping. After two days of online backlash, Chipotle announced it had fired the restaurant’s manager and vowed to retrain its other employees.
“Our actions were based on the facts known to us immediately after the incident, including video footage, social media posts and conversations with the customer, manager, and our employees,” said Laurie Schalow, Chipotle’s chief communications officer, in an email. “We now have additional information which needs to be investigated further. We want to do the right thing, so after further investigation we will re-train and re-hire if the facts warrant it.”
Schalow declined to elaborate on the specifics of the new information.
The two-minute video, which had been viewed more than 5 million times by Sunday evening, shows Ali and his friends being denied service at the Chipotle on Grand Avenue.
- Masud Ali (@Masudaliii) November 16, 2018
It begins with an employee telling the men, “You gotta pay, because you’ve never had money when you come in here.”
“Ya’ll are basically stereotyping us,” one of them replies.
Eventually, one of the restaurant’s employees called the police.
On Sunday, media outlets published images of several older posts from Ali’s Twitter account in which he appeared to discuss dining and dashing. Efforts to reach Ali for comment Sunday night were unsuccessful.
In one post from July 2015, he tweeted: “Dine and dash is forever interesting.”
In another 2015 tweet, Ali wrote: “Guys we’re borrowing food … that’s it and if the lady tires (sic) to stop you at the door don’t hesitate to truck the s- out of that b--.”
In January 2016, he tweeted: “aye man I think Chipotle catching up to us fam … should we change locations…”
Schalow said Chipotle was aware of these tweets when it decided to fire the manager and that the company’s decision to reconsider the move was not based on them.