Tracy sent a message to Greg Creed – Chief Executive Officer of Yum Brands – Email Address that said:
November 29, 2016
Due to religious and personal beliefs, I have been a vegan who consumes no animal products at all for quite some time. Last night I visited at 10:05 pm. My cashier was Oprah. As a strict vegan, this is not merely a “diet” that can be broken at any time; it is a deeply held religious belief. I was informed through the Vegetarian Resource Group and PETA that your company is vegetarian/vegan friendly with the ability to custom order items on your menu without meat or dairy. Taco Bell has always been one of my favorite fast-food restaurants because I could always find something I was able to eat off the menu.
I informed the cashier, Oprah. before placing my order that there would be no meat or dairy. I ordered a seven-layer burrito minus cheese and sour cream as well as two crunchy tacos fresco style with black beans substituted for ground beef. My husband is not a vegan and his items were on my order as well but there were no issues with his food aside from it being ice cold by the time they had mine ready. The total cost of my order was $14.49
The cashier called the manager over and she informed me that I would have to order a smothered burrito. I did not understand this but she said that was the way it had to be done. Then she proceeded to charge me extra for guacamole ($.35), lettuce ($.30), and tomato ($.35), which are supposed to be on a seven-layer burrito anyway.
Then they started trying to make the order. It took three separate attempts as they kept adding cheese, meat, and sour cream while the entire time the cashier, manager, and cooked laughed at me and called me one of those crazy vegetarian people who was a pain in their a**es quite loudly to the point where everyone in the extremely busy restaurant was laughing, staring, and making equally rude comments along with them. I am ashamed of my reaction. I froze. I just stood there shaking and trying my level best not to cry. I am a forty-six year old woman but last night the staff at Taco Bell reduced me to feeling like I was a six year old child surrounded by taunting bullies on the playground. By the time the food was finally made they had left the guacamole off that I was charged for even when I should not have been and there were refried beans on the tacos instead of the black beans that I had requested but by this time I was so upset I didn’t dare say anything.
I am a person of peace and compassion; however, I am extremely disappointed with your ordering system, and not educating your food preparation technicians on the importance of accuracy and sensitivity when it comes to your customers orders, especially when it involves someone’s religious beliefs, health, lifestyle and/or well-being. If Taco Bell wants to be more diverse in the menu items, to fit the lifestyles and eating habits of customers, then the company should provide that service with dignity and understanding to their paying customers.