Two customers eating at a Burger King in Florida reportedly told the manager of the fast food restaurant to “go back to Mexico.”
In a video posted to Facebook, two elderly women can be heard yelling at someone to stop speaking Spanish. The incident reportedly occurred at a Burger King in Eustis, Florida on July 6, The Daily Commercial reported. In the video, one of the elderly women can be heard telling the manager of the restaurant to “go back to Mexico.”
“Go back to Mexico if you want to keep speaking Spanish,” one of the women said. “If you want to keep speaking Spanish, go back to your Mexican culture.”
“Guess what, ma’am? I’m not Mexican,” the manager told the two customers. “You’re being prejudiced, and I want you out of my restaurant right now.”
During the heated exchange, one of the women denied that the manager of the fast-food chain owns the restaurant. The manager then threatened to call the police because they were now trespassing.
“I have nothing to say to you ma’am,” the manager said in the video. “Just have a nice day, and don’t come back.”
The video, which was posted to Facebook by user Neyzha Nicole, went viral, and it already has over 255,000 views. The Facebook user, whose real name is Neyzha Borrero, told CNN she was at the fast food restaurant with her boyfriend, Oni Martinez.
Borrero told the news station that before the heated exchange began, the manager, who has been identified as Ricardo Castillo, was doing paperwork at a table in the dining area when an employee came over to him and asked a question in Spanish. Borrero told CNN the women began complaining because the manager spoke Spanish in front of them.
“The two ladies were next to the manager, and after the employee left, they told Castillo they wanted to complain,” Borrero told the news station.
Borrero told CNN that Castillo initially thought the complaint was about the meal and offered them credit or a free dessert, but the two women then complained about him speaking Spanish in public. Castillo, who is Puerto Rican, told The Daily Commercial in his 18 years of managing restaurants, he has never experienced anything like this. The manager of the fast-food chain told the publication he was proud to be bilingual.
“We get a lot of people here who come into the store and they don’t speak English, and we help them out with their orders,” Castillo told the newspaper.
The manager claims he does not regret the way he handled the incident and said if the women come back to his chain restaurant, they will be issued a trespassing order.
“I was not disrespectful at any time, but I did tell them they had to leave the restaurant,” Castillo told The Daily Commercial. “The only couple that was sitting down in the lobby was a Puerto Rican female and a Mexican guy. They told me after, ‘We felt offended.’ The best thing to do was to get the people out of the restaurant.”
Borrero told CNN she was happy Castillo asked the women to leave in such a professional manner.
“We applauded him because he never disrespected them at all. He was very professional,” Borrero, who is also Puerto Rican, told the news station. “Sadly, it’s something that happens every single day.”
The North Star has reached out to Burger King for comment on the video but did not hear back in time for publication. In a statement to CNN, Burger King said: “There is no place for discrimination in our restaurants. 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.”
There has been a rise in nativist language and white supremacist activity over the past few years. In June, a woman from New Jersey said she was beaten by a 13-year-old boy who was bullying her son and told him to “go back to Mexico.” Beronica Ruiz, 35, was walking home with her 12-year-old son and one-year-old daughter from her son’s school at The Gifted and Talented Academy in Passaic, New Jersey when another student from the school attacked them, according to a press release from the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office.
About the Author
Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in the various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.