You’ll Never Guess Why a Florida Taco Bell Customer Was Denied Service

Viral video shows the struggle to get a simple meal in some parts of America if you don't speak Spanish

At restaurants, the protocol used to be “No shirt, no shoes, no service.”

Now, at a Hialeah, Florida, Taco Bell location, the rules seem to be, “If you don’t speak Spanish, we can’t help you” — which is why a worker there is out of a job.

The employee of the fast-food chain, who reportedly goes by the name Louisa, has been fired for denying service to an English-speaking customer last week, according to reporting from MSN and other sources.

With a population of nearly 225,000, Hialeah is the sixth-largest city in the Sunshine State and with one of the largest Spanish-speaking communities in the country.

In 2016, more than 96 percent of its residents reported speaking Spanish at home.

Still, Hialeah is in Miami-Dade County — which is officially part of the United States.

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Meanwhile, a video shared on Facebook by customer Alexandria Montgomery shows the drive-thru employee telling Montgomery that she doesn’t understand English — and therefore cannot serve her.

“That doesn’t make any sense,” Montgomery yelled, as she persisted in trying to place her order.

“This is America,” she also reminded the worker.

Still the server refused, and at one point she shut the drive-thru window.

She also threatened to call the police on Montgomery for holding up the line, and then asked a co-worker — who also didn’t speak English — to intervene.

“Call the police! I didn’t do nothing! I’m trying to order food!” Montgomery said in the video.

“This is America. Y’all don’t take over the whole population.”

“It’s not my problem. It’s Hialeah,” the employee said in Spanish.

“That doesn’t mean nothing!” Montgomery shot back. “‘Cause this is Hialeah. This is America. Y’all don’t take over the whole population.”

Montgomery later reflected on the whole situation.

“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 South Florida’s NBC 6.

She also noted that Taco Bell offered her a $100 gift card as compensation, but Montgomery declined it, according to USA Today.

Related: Fast Food and Income: The Shocking Disconnect

Montgomery wrote in a Facebook post that the Taco Bell in Hialeah is “racist,” adding that “the lady understood what I was saying but didn’t want to take my order, talking ’bout she doesn’t speak English,” according to NBC 6.

Taco Bell said in a statement that the incident “does not meet our customer experience expectations,” and that the company has “worked quickly to resolve with the customer to ensure that the situation doesn’t happen again.”

Montgomery’s Facebook video has gone viral, with more than 600,000 views so far.

See the incident play out in the video below.

Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.

(photo credit, article image: Taco Bell Store Redesign, CC BY-SA 3.0, by ûnbekend)

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