Burger King is speaking out in defense of a general manager in Florida after customers were filmed telling him to “go back to Mexico.”
The incident, which took place at a Burger King in Eustis, Fla., was overheard and filmed by Neyzha Nicole, another fast-food patron who posted the video to social media on Saturday.
In the footage, two elderly women are first overheard arguing with general manager Ricardo Castillo, reportedly after flagging him down to complain about how he was speaking Spanish to another employee.
“Go back to Mexico if you want to keep speaking Spanish. Go back to your Mexican country, your state, your country,” one of the women can he heard saying loudly in the restaurant dining room.
“Guess what, ma’am? I’m not Mexican,” Castillo responds. “I’m not Mexican, but you’re being very prejudiced and I want you out of my restaurant right now.”
“I’ll finish my meal, and then I’ll go,” she says.”
“You know what? I’ll do it for you, ma’am. I’ll call the cops,” Castillo says, before calling them both “ignorant” and “disrespectful.”
Castillo then reveals that the owner of this Burger King is actually a Mexican-American man, and waits for the women to get up and leave.
Nicole is then heard apologizing to Castillo for having to endure the incident, and offers to send him the footage she just filmed.
“He was handling it well and very professional, which I applaud him for very much,” said Oni Martinez, another customer in the restaurant, to Fox 35.
Burger King’s corporate offices became aware of the video as well, and issued a statement condemning the discrimination seen in the video.
“There is no place for discrimination in our restaurants,” Burger King said in a statement obtained by Fox News. “We expect employees and guests to treat each other with respect. This incident took place at a franchised restaurant and the owner is looking into the matter.”
Guillermo Perales, the franchisee who owns the restaurant as well as nearly 300 others, also issued a response through his lawyer, Robert Zarco, NBC News reported.
“My client is very disappointed that customers would make racially and insensitive attacks on people who work there who have been trained to serve the customers,” Zarco said.