KLAMATH FALLS, OR—Del Pollo Gordo, a Mexican restaurant chain in the Pacific Northwest, has come under fire after a recent customer claimed she was racially profiled. Local woman Andrea Merz got on Facebook Live after ordering at the restaurant, where she claimed that the employee who took her order “just assumed” she would want “mild hot sauce” because she was a “white girl.”
“OMG. I just experienced some straight-up racism you guys. This is not OK. I just ordered a bean burrito at Del Pollo Gordo and the guy at the counter goes, ‘Hot sauce? Let me guess: mild?’ Are you kidding me right now? What year is this, man? Are we still talking to people like this? Mild hot sauce just because I’m a white girl?!” Merz shouted into her camera while sitting in her parked Volvo.
“What else would you assume about me? I listen to Taylor Swift? Do I shop at Trader Joe’s and Bed, Bath, and Beyond? Do I own a yoga mat? You think I’m into essential oils and watch the Property Brothers every night? Even if most of that is true, it doesn’t make this OK.” Merz went on to talk about how she just needed to take some deep breaths so she didn’t jump up across the counter and “give somebody an old-school beat down.”
That afternoon, protesters arrived in the restaurant parking lot in droves carrying picket signs and chanting things like “We like hot sauce too,” “You don’t own jalapeños,” and, “Taste is not a skin condition!” Merz called for a boycott of the establishment until the management made a public apology.
A spokesperson from Del Pollo Gordo said the company did not intend to hurt the woman’s feelings and would happily offer her a free burrito for her trouble. Merz accepted the offer. When asked what kind of hot sauce Merz would be ordering with the free burrito, she answered “mild.”
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