MIAMI (CBS News/CBSLA) – The Cheesecake Factory says it has suspended workers involved in an incident in which a black customer reportedly was subjected to verbal abuse by restaurant staff over his “Make America Great Again” cap.
Eugenior Joseph, 22, was dining with his girlfriend’s family at a Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Miami on Sunday, when his red MAGA hat was spotted by a female staff member, according to the Daily Wire, which first reported the incident.
After the woman encouraged her co-workers to confront Joseph, about a dozen Cheesecake employees surrounded his table, multiple witnesses told the conservative news site.
One employee tried to scare Joseph by standing behind him “balling his fists, smacking his fists,” Joseph told the Daily Wire. When he exited a restaurant bathroom, Joseph encountered employees “clapping and yelling, and just screaming things at me,” he told the site.
A Facebook post by Izabella Victores – who says Joseph is her boyfriend – claimed the employees’ “threats and aggressions” occurred in front of her 80-year-old great-grandmother and her 8-year-old sister.
“This was supposed to be a simple (Mother’s Day) celebration, and instead we were threatened and harassed by an entire restaurant of employees,” Victores wrote.
“Upon learning of this incident, we immediately apologized to the guests in person,” read a statement posted to Cheesecake Factory’s social pages. “The individuals involved in the incident have been suspended pending the results of our investigation.”
The casual-dining chain operates 214 locations throughout North America.
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