Chipotle manager Dominique could get her job back after she was fired when Masud Ali recorded her refusing to serve him and his friends at a St. Paul restaurant. The incident occurred on November 15 at the Grand Avenue restaurant. Ali, 21, uploaded the videos to his Twitter page on November 16. Shortly afterward, the clip spread across the internet and Dominique was promptly fired from her job.
Dominique can be heard saying in the video, “You gotta pay, because you’ve never had any money when you come in here. We’re not gonna make food unless you guys actually have money.” Though as conservative news outlets such as the Daily Caller and Fox News began to report on Ali’s past tweets that apparently made reference to the practice of “dining and dashing,” reports suggested that Chipotle was thinking of rehiring Dominique.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. A GoFundMe Page Has Been Set Up to Help Dominique to Deal With Being Fired From Chipotle
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Dominique’s friends to help her to deal with the fallout of being fired from Chipotle. At the time of writing the page has raised $1,400 of a $5,000 goal. The intro to the page reads, “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. In addition, a Change.org petition has also been set up as a means to convince Chipotle to rehire Dom.
2. On Her Twitter Bio, Dominique Refers to Herself as ‘That Chipotle Employee’
On her Twitter bio, Dominique refers to herself as “That Chipotle Employee.” Since the story of her firing went viral, Dominique has been using her Twitter account to retweet messages of support that she has received:
3. One of Dominique’s Most Ardent Supporters Is Conservative Author Matt Palumbo
One of Dominique’s most ardent supporters, conservative author Matt Palumbo, tweeted late on November 18 that Dominique has “got her job back.” Palumbo had earlier called Chipotle’s assertion that they did not know about Ali’s earlier tweets about “dining and dashing” an “absolute lie,” tweeting at the company, “This is an absolute lie. I emailed your media relations dept. and she claims you were aware of the tweets (where the dude admitted to dine and dashing) at the time of the firing.”
4. Ali’s 2 & 3-Year-Old Tweets Are Being Held Up as Evidence That He Planned to ‘Dine & Dash’
Ali told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that the manager’s request for him and his friends to show proof they could pay “sounded really racist – the way she said it was racist. She asked for proof of income as if I’m getting a loan.” Ali added, “I’m disappointed in that whole crew for not stepping up and instead accusing us of something we haven’t done.” On his Twitter page, Ali tweeted at Chipotle’s official account saying, “Can a group of young well-established African-Americans get a bite to eat after a long workout session?”
On November 19, both the Daily Caller and Fox News, had lengthy features Ali allegedly documenting a history of “dining and dashing” on his Twitter page. Both websites say that Ali has deleted the tweets. The basis for these stories are tweets from 2015 and 2016, some of which reference Chipotle as well as Applebees. One message that has circulated widely comes from July 2015, it reads, “Dine and Dash is forever interesting.” While another message from January 2016, close to three years before the November 15 incident, read, “aye man I think chipotle catchin up to us fam. should we change locations and yoooo what should we do.”
5. A Good Morning America Producer Who Wanted to Run Ali’s Video Was Bombarded With Messages on Twitter
Good Morning America producer Lauren Dozier was bombarded with messages from Ali’s critics after she asked for permission to use the video on the ABC show. One commenter wrote that Dozier should “Do [her] research” before running the clip. Another person wrote, “Yes chipotle and the need media took his world without investigating. Oops egg on their faces!” While another said, “Lauren I hope you use this video to also talk about how this boys and all they others have been caught for dine and dashing and got a woman fired instead of giving these guys a sob story.”
In April 2018, two African-American men, Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, were asked to leave a Starbucks in Philadelphia after a manager accused them of not being paying customers. In an open letter to customers, Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz called the incident “reprehensible.” The incident saw the police called but no charges were pressed. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson issued an apology and said that in May 2018, 8,000 Starbucks stores closed so that employees could undergo racial bias training.