June 28, 2020 Incident
BurgerFi can confirm there was an altercation between a BurgerFi employee and customers on June 28 at a franchise-owned location in South Beach, Miami. We understand discriminatory and hateful language was directed at an employee based upon his alleged sexual orientation. BurgerFi and its franchisees have a zero tolerance policy for discriminatory language or behavior of any kind. The customers who exhibited this behavior are no longer welcome in BurgerFi restaurants.
Our legal counsel has been in contact with the State Attorney’s Office and requested and received confirmation that they are pursuing a hate crime investigation.
During our internal investigation, including interviewing all BurgerFi staff who witnessed the incident and studying video surveillance from the restaurant, it appears Mr. Walker came from behind the counter and an altercation ensued. The surveillance video is being shared with local authorities to assist in the investigation. Guest and employee safety is of the utmost importance to BurgerFi. While we are extremely saddened by the events that led to the altercation, the employee’s conduct was in violation of company policies, which led to his termination.
Since the incident, we have conducted sensitivity and de-escalation training, as well as counseling with the employees of this location. We have arranged for a diversity and inclusion trainer to work with corporate leadership and our franchise partners to learn from this situation and to help prevent future incidents.
Due to the unique nature of this incident, we have offered Mr. Walker a position to assist us in sensitivity and diversity training for BurgerFi and our partners. Should he prefer, he has also been offered the opportunity to return to one of our restaurants.