Updated: 3:48 p.m. | Posted: 3:08 p.m.
Chipotle is offering to rehire a St. Paul restaurant manager, fired after an incident where employees refused to serve five black men and asked them to prove they could pay before taking their order.
Employees accused the men of being repeat dine-and-dashers. One of the men, 21-year-old Masud Ali, posted a video of the incident on Twitter on Thursday, alleging that he and his friends were subjected to racial stereotyping.
The video begins with a Chipotle employee telling the men that they must pay "because you never have money when you come in here." Chipotle fired the restaurant's manager after the online backlash and said it would retrain employees.
But several old tweets apparently posted on Ali's account were discovered and they included comments about dining and dashing. Those tweets have since been deleted.
After reviewing the evidence, Chipotle spokesperson Laurie Schalow said that the company wanted to "publicly apologize to our manager for being put in this position."
In an email message, Schalow said that the company's normal protocol was not followed serving these customers. But she did not say what that protocol is.
"Our policy is to treat our customers and employees fairly and with respect at all times and under any circumstances," she wrote. "We will work with all our restaurant teams to ensure they are prepared to handle situations of this kind and know they have our full support. We are committed to doing the right thing and acting in a manner consistent with a thoughtful, fact-driven approach. "
The company was aware of the alleged tweets when it decided to fire the manager, and the decision to re-evaluate the situation wasn't influenced by the tweets, Schalow said. She declined to provide details about the new information.
The city of St. Paul says it is investigating the incident.
"Any time there's an incident like this, we have an obligation to look into it and see what's going on," said Lao Yang, a human rights specialist with St. Paul's Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity.
Ali did not respond to a request for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.