Employees at a Philadelphia Checkers restaurant were fired after a Facebook Live video showed them talking about having sex with customers at the restaurant and other unsanitary acts.
The video was posted over the weekend by workers at the Checkers restaurant on the 7000 block of Stenton Avenue. During the 44-minute long video, one of the employees claims that his co-workers have had sex with customers at the restaurant. At one point he also smokes a cigarette in the kitchen, describes how he sometimes handles the food without using gloves, threatens to spit in the food of customers and talks about “washing the floor with burger buns.”
The video went viral and sparked outrage on social media.
“I’m not gonna say it happens in every fast food restaurant but that one in particular, I wouldn’t eat there,” said Tyrell Beckett.
NBC10 obtained the latest city health inspection report of the Stenton Avenue Checkers. The report showed the restaurant was out of compliance on several cleanliness and hygiene issues.
NBC10 visited the Checkers Monday but the restaurant was closed and a manager inside would not comment. A spokesperson for Checkers later released a statement to NBC10 saying the employees in the video would be fired and the restaurant would be sanitized and re-inspected.
“The behavior of these employees does not meet our high standards for food preparation and guest service, and does not represent the thousands of Checkers employees who do an outstanding job every day,” the spokesperson wrote. “As soon as we became aware of the post, we immediately contacted the franchisee, who proactively closed the restaurant late last night. The employees involved will be terminated, the restaurant will be fully sanitized and re-inspected before it reopens, and all of the team members will be fully retrained.”
Richard Benson, one of the fired employees and the main person speaking in the viral video later spoke with NBC10 claiming the entire thing was a publicity stunt gone wrong. Benson, a local comedian and hip hop artist who had only worked at the Checkers for a few months, said he was trying to promote his music.
"I be doing little publicity stunts," he said. "There wasn't anything going on that I was saying but I was saying it because I knew it would draw attention."
Benson said he deleted the video but it was quickly reposted by someone else and went viral.
"She somehow downloaded the video, put the whole thing up and made it like we were nasty and doing this and we were doing this to their food," he said.
Benson insists the whole thing was a joke and he and his co-workers never did the things he described in the video.
"I wouldn't do that to my community," Benson said. "Now a lot of people don't have jobs because of me and I feel bad. Because it was all a joke."
"I just want to let people know that that's not what was going on. Nothing negative went down in that store. Whoever ordered that day, your food was properly cooked, properly made, properly prepared. We didn't do nothing. We didn't contaminate nothing. Nothing negative."