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Sonora Grill Sonora Grill, which employees past and present have criticized on social media.

Mexico City city restaurant investigated for discriminatory practices

Sonora Grill alleged to seat white people in one area, brown people in another

Sonora Grill, the famous steakhouse with almost 20 locations throughout Mexico City, is the latest restaurant to come under fire on social media for questionable practices.

Since May of 2021, the Instagram account @terrorrestaurantesmx has been posting reports by service industry workers about allegedly abusive restaurants across the city, with even famous places like Pujol, Quintonil, La Docena and others having been the subjects of complaints about abusive labor practices and even bodily harm.

Now, Sonora Grill has been accused of dividing its seating at the Polanco location by skin color, with employees claiming that one section was for “brown” people, called the Gandhi section, and another for “white” customers, called the Mousset section. Reports claimed that only certain types of employees could work at the front of Sonora Grill — they had to be tall and white, with a certain “foreign” quality as a bonus.

After these claims came to light, dozens of former and current employees went to social media to call out all kinds of allegedly bad behavior on the part of managers and executive chefs at the restaurant, posting text messages in which employees were told to train their bodies not to need to go the bathroom so often or being told their tips would be taken away as a sanction against various workplace infractions.

The company has responded by denying that it engages in any type of racist or discriminatory practices. “Over the course of 18 years we have developed as an organization in which respect, inclusion, service and love of country prevail.”

It also said, “We work hard to create an inclusive ambiance, both for our clients as well as for our staff.”

Mexico City’s Council on the Elimination and Prevention of Discrimination said Monday that it would launch an investigation into the claims, in order to protect “the legal standards and principles of human rights in the city.”

With reports from El País

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