An employee at a Hialeah, Florida, Taco Bell has been fired after she was caught on video refusing to take a customer’s order, because the employee did not speak English.
Alexandria Montgomery posted a three-minute video of the bizarre exchange on 12 September 2018, in which a Taco Bell employee standing at the drive-thru counter refused to take Montgomery’s order, insisting in Spanish that neither she nor her colleagues understood or spoke English.
At one point the employee, who identified herself as “Luisa” in the video, told Montgomery “This is Hialeah” and suggested Montgomery try to order in English at another nearby Taco Bell outlet.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey, 96 percent of Hialeah’s residents were identified as Hispanic or Latino, and 78 percent of those identified as being of Cuban heritage.
Speaking to Miami television station WPLG, Montgomery said she suspected that the woman could, in fact, understand at least some of what she was saying in English: “She was replying to what I was saying in English, but she was replying in Spanish.”
In a statement, a Taco Bell spokesperson confirmed that employee working at the drive-thru counter who denied speaking English had been fired: “This does not meet our customer experience expectations. We have worked quickly to resolve with the customer to ensure this doesn’t happen again. The individual no longer works for the brand.”