A woman was refused service at a Taco Bell in Hialeah, Florida, because she didn’t speak Spanish.
Alexandria Montgomery posted video of her experience in the Taco Bell drive thru to Facebook. The Taco Bell employee attempts to quickly dismiss her by saying that no one at the location speaks English. At one point the employee names the location of another Taco Bell, suggesting Montgomery visit that one, instead.
“I simply wanted a quesadilla and that’s not hard to understand in Spanish, because I think it’s a Spanish word,” Montgomery told 7 News.
Montgomery and an acquaintance still try to see if Taco Bell staff would be willing to work with them and place the order, despite the language barrier. The staff member instead threatens to call the police, and tells Montgomery that there are customers behind her waiting for service.
“You just don’t completely shut me out because you don’t speak English. That’s not fair,” Montgomery said in the viral video clip, and then suggests the employee let her order by number, to make it easier. The employee does not accept the suggestion.
At one point, three employees are visible. One of them said, “This is Hialeah, I’m sorry,” in explaining why nobody speaks English. Montgomery and her friend try to argue that they are in the United States.
Reactions to the Video
Montgomery’s video has since gained 268,000 views, 5,800 shares, and 2,800 comments, along with 2,300 reactions. Montgomery later wrote that the employee at the window had since been fired.
Some Facebook commenters think the employee could speak some English. They think that she only answered Montgomery and her friend in Spanish after comprehending what they were saying in English.
She also posted that the employee at the window was indeed the general manager of the shift, when she posted about the firing.
She said she called the local Taco Bell about the incident.
“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,” Montgomery told the Miami Herald.”
Montgomery told NBC 6 that Taco Bell offered her a $100 gift card as an apology, but she refused it.
“I understand everyone in Miami doesn’t speak English, and that’s fine, but if she was willing to work with me, I think the outcome would’ve been different,” Montgomery told NBC 6.
Hialeah, a city in Miami-Dade County, has the largest percentage of a Spanish-speaking population in cities throughout the United States, according to the Miami Herald and WalletHub. Eighty-nine percent of residents speak Spanish as a first or second language, and 94 percent of residents identify as Hispanic, according to data obtained by the Herald from the 2010 census. Hialeah is north of the Miami International Airport.
Montgomery shared a parody video of her experience that was made by a comedian on Facebook who played both the role of the customer and the rude staff member.
“tho this is no laughing matter, we have to have a sense of humor in this twisted world! And so hope this made you at least smile! Also, on behalf of all my Hialeahens and tacos we apologize for her actions! We are not all like that!! That being said, have you ever had Latin America? Delicious and at least they try over there. Next ones on me!” Wrote Mario Ramil comedy, in a comment under the video clip he created.