Submitted by Darren Smith, weekend contributor
The alleged incident at Bloomfield, NM happened in June of 2013 where the plaintiff states he asked the manager to reheat the onion rings. The restaurant’s manager, Francisco Barrera reportedly told another employee in Spanish “…he doesn’t even know what I’m going to return it and do whatever I want to it and he’ll still eat it…” The plaintiff understood Spanish and after hearing this he then requested a refund on the rings.
The manager refused the refund request and later, according to the lawsuit, he then confronted the plaintiff and lunged at him with a Taser in one hand and a switchblade in the other. Police arrived and arrested Barrera, charging him with Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff claims the Burger King franchisee negligently hired Barrera. Plaintiff claims the group owning the Bloomfield location had other incidents such as this at several other restaurants in New Mexico. Such incidents allegedly included putting marijuana in hamburgers served to law enforcement officers and food adulterated with dish sanitizer at the Bloomfield location.
Reportedly, Barrera has been violent with other employees and customers in the past. Barrera pleaded guilty to the Aggravated Battery charge.
The lawsuit certainly highlights the importance of restaurants screening applicants and not just blindly hiring whoever walks in the door. The labor costs in hiring questionable employees are more than negated by not properly supervising their actions. Incidents such as this, especially if regularly reported in the national news, compromise the goodwill and brand internationally. It might be time for the parent corporation of Burger King to require more stringent employee management within contracts with franchisees.
By Darren Smith
The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.