Cheesecake Factory workers have been ousted from the chain after an incident in which a customer says he was harassed by roughly a dozen employees for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat.
Conservative news website The Daily Wire reports that a 22-year-old named Eugenior Joseph was targeted by Cheesecake Factory employees for wearing a MAGA hat. According to The Daily Wire, roughly a dozen workers at a Miami, Florida location approached Joseph, who was dining with his girlfriend’s family, and began making comments about the hat.
“All the employees started standing there, saying things out loud, like, ‘I’m going to knock his head in so hard his hat’s going to come off,” a witness told The Daily Wire.
Joseph told the publication: “He got behind me and another coworker came by and they were staring at each other and he fist bumped him and then he started looking at me, balling his fists, smacking his fists, trying to scare me.”
The Daily Wire reported that employees also yelled at and booed Joseph when he walked to the bathroom. The incident was so upsetting, one witness said, that an “elderly woman who was present had to take medication to calm herself down.”
The incident sparked backlash on social media.
The Cheesecake Factory said in a statement on Wednesday that the two workers who “made disparaging remarks about Mr. Joseph’s hat that made him and his family feel unwelcome” are “no longer employed with the company.”
“No guest should ever feel unwelcome in one of our restaurants and we are very sorry,” the company said in a statement. “Our investigation is ongoing and we have reached out to Mr. Joseph directly to ask for this assistance.”