19:55 GMT +314 December 2018
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    Chipotle fires manager who refused to serve customers

    US Manager Who Refused Service to Customers Over Dine-And-Dash Fears Fired

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    On Saturday, US restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it had fired one of its managers in St. Paul, Minnesota, after a viral video showed five customers being refused food. However, on Sunday, the company revealed on Twitter that it is rethinking its initial decision.

    On Friday, 21-year-old Masud Ali and his friends were told by a Chipotle manager, identified as Dominique, that she was not going to serve them food unless they proved they actually had money to pay for it.

    ​"You gotta pay, because you've never had money when you come in here," Dominique is heard saying in a clip shared by Ali on Twitter Friday and viewed almost 7 million times so far. According to Dominique, Ali and his friends had failed to pay for food at that Chipotle previously.

    Another employee adds, "We're not gonna make food unless you guys actually have money."

    In the video, Ali and his friends can he heard complaining about being "stereotyped" as the manager ignores their requests to be served.

    "It sounded really racist — the way she said it was racist," Ali told Minnesota's Star Tribune newspaper Friday. Ali did not respond to Sputnik request for comment.

    The next day, Chipotle responded to Ali's tweet, announcing they had terminated the manager featured in the video.

    ​"What happened here is not how our employees should treat our customers. We are committed to treating all of our guests fairly and with respect. The manager has been terminated, and the restaurant has been retrained so this doesn't happen again. We'll be back in touch," the tweet read.

    However, on Sunday, Twitter users began sharing tweets from Ali's page revealing that he previously bragged about ordering food without paying for it it, otherwise known as "dining and dashing."

    In 2015, Ali allegedly tweeted, "we finna goto Applebees and eat as much as we can and tip the nice lady 20cents and walk the f**k out." On another occasion, he tweeted, "Dine and dash is forever interesting."

    ​Another post reportedly read, "Guys we're borrowing food… that's it. And if the lady tries to stop you at the door don't hesitate to truck the s**t out of that b***h."

    All of these posts have since been deleted from Ali's page. However, several news sources, including the Miami Herald, took screenshots of the posts before they were deleted.

    In a tweet Sunday, Chipotle said it's evaluating its initial decision to fire Dominique in light of the reports about Ali's Twitter account.

    "Our actions were based on the facts known to us immediately after the incident. We now have additional information which needs to be investigated further. We want to do the right thing, so after further investigation, we'll re-train and re-hire if the facts warrant it," the tweet reads.

    However, on Monday, author Matt Palumbo‏ responded to Chipotle's latest tweet, claiming that Chipotle was well aware of Ali's tweets regarding dining and dashing at the time of Dominique's firing, adding a screenshot of an email sent to him from Chipotle.

    "This is an absolute lie. I emailed your media relations [department] and she claims you were aware of the tweets (where the dude admitted to dine and dashing) at the time of the firing," Palumbo's tweet reads.

    ​A petition on charge.org as well as a GoFundMe page have been set up by Dominique's friends following the incident.

    "Myself and any of Dom's friends and loved ones know that she loved her job, loves people and did not deserve the unfortunate chain of events that occurred this week. I don't feel she deserves to be without pay for protecting her team, and I want to fight for her. Hopefully this gofundme can support her through the holidays," David Asecas wrote on the GoFundMe page, which has raised $1,535 out of its $5,000 goal as of Monday afternoon.

    The petition on change.org, which was started by Hamdia Ahmed, reads, "What we didn't know is that these boys have a history of dining and dashing. This manger was simply going her job. Racism is so real in this country, and we should always fight against it. I have personally experienced racism many times.I do not believe that this was a form of racism at all, but a precaution the manger was taking to make sure the boys paid for their meal."

    "Every American should fight against racism in any form, but clearly this was not the case. These boys have now given racists something to point to and discredit actual racism in America. Let's help this young lady get her job back. I don't personally know her, but I will stand up for her. Please sign the petition." The petition has already been signed by more than 1,800 people.

    Dominique, who was contacted via her Instagram page, did not immediately respond to Sputnik's request for comment. However, her Instagram biography includes a link to the change.org petition regarding the incident.

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