A Florida Burger King manager was filmed having a heated exchange with two customers after speaking Spanish to an employee on July 6, 2019, according to a video posted to social media.
“This just happened right in front of me!!!” Neyzha Nicole wrote on Facebook. “I had to record!!! ‘This is AMERICA! we speak ENGLISH’ ‘GO BACK TO MEXICO. Speak “Puerto Rican” or “Mexican” at home!’ Puerto Rican Manager at Burger King gets discriminated only because he spoke to his employee in Spanish in front of them. #burgerking #discrimination.”
Neyzha’s five-minute-long video has been viewed ovr 60,000 times on Facebook, racking up almost 400 comments and over 700 shares.
“I am able to speak both English and Spanish,” Nayzha told NBC. “There are people that can speak other languages. They shouldn’t feel discriminated in their country. They should be proud they can learn another language and contact more people.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Restaurant Manager Was Ricardo Castillo From Puerto Rico
The manager of the Eustis Burger King restaurant about 40 miles north of Orlando has been identified by NBC as Puerto Rican-American Ricardo Castillo. In the video, Castillo and the two elderly women can be seen arguing as they sit with their food. Castillo was defending his right to speak Spanish.
“Go back to Mexico if you want to keep speaking Spanish,” one of the women tells the Castillo.
“Guess what ma’am? I’m not Mexican,” said Castillo. “You’re being prejudiced and I want you out of my restaurant right now.”
One woman said she would finish her meal and then they would leave, but Castillo said he would call the cops. He told the ladies that they were being very ignorant and disrespectful. Many people on social media are condemning the two women for their behavior while praising Castillo for standing his ground and kicking them out of the store.
The Restaurant Owner is of Mexican Decent
During the exchange, Castillo can be heard explaining to the two women he is not from Mexico, however, the restaurant’s owner, Guillermo Perales is of Mexican descent.
Perales is the founder and CEO of Sun Holdings. According to its website, the company was founded in 1997 with one Golden Corral unit, and funded by an SBA loan. The company currently operates over 1000 locations in eight states, managing more than 15,000 employees.
The locations include 293 Burger Kings, 150 Popeyes, 94 Arby’s, 20 Golden Corrals, 31 Cici’s Pizzas, 18 Krispy Kremes, 160 T-Mobiles, 80 GNCs, 10 restaurants in various airports, as well as approximately 160 real estate units and over 20 parcels of land for future restaurants.
“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,” Perales’ lawyer, Robert Zarco, told NBC.