Mexico governmental agency investigates Sonora Grill for accusations of separating diners by skin color

The luxury restaurant chain Sonora Grill Group is in the eye of the hurricane due to accusations that point to alleged acts of discrimination and racism against its diners.

The accusations started at the restaurant chain’s location on Presidente Masaryk street in the Polanco neighborhood -one of the most exclusive in the capital-, where they were accused of classifying their clients according to their physical appearance and skin color.

It was through the Twitter account Terror Restaurantes Mx that alleged employees and former employees disclosed the mode of operation of the luxurious restaurant, since people with Caucasian features are sent to a more “exclusive” section and the treatment is different compared to of the diners whose skin complexion is brown.

Thus, the establishment is divided into two zones: the first called “Mousse” -where Caucasian people are placed- and the other known as “Gandhi”, where the rest of the clients are placed.

The Council to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination of Mexico City ( Copred ) reported that an ex officio investigation file was opened against Sonora Grill, for which the restaurant must respond to a request for information about the accusation and whether it carried out discriminatory practices towards its guests.

In addition, the president of Copred, Geraldina González de la Vega, notified the Miguel Hidalgo mayor’s office – where the restaurant is located – to verify if it is indeed engaging in racist acts. If accredited, Sonora Grill could be fined and the Council would be in charge of training its staff.

“We cannot continue this type of practice in establishments,” González de la Vega commented, as she indicated that it is not a specific restaurant, but discriminatory acts in more bars and branches of CDMX, the capital city of Mexico.

“The restaurant must respond to a request for information about whether it resorts to discriminatory practices. In parallel, the Council is collecting testimonies from affected people.”

Sonora Grill Group released a statement in which it “flatly” denied any racist act or discrimination in its establishments since they assured that they have always worked to create an “inclusive environment”, both for customers and for their staff.

“Over 18 years we have developed as a group in which respect, inclusion, service, and love for our country prevail as fundamental pillars,” they asserted.

However, the complaints have increased as the days go by. A user identified as Sofía Sotero published a video on her TikTok account in which she shares her testimony as a former employee of a branch that is not Polanco and assured that the restaurant has indeed engaged in discriminatory acts.

“I worked as a hostess, which is the person who takes you to the table. And from day one they explained to me that the tables on the balcony were reserved for people with the ‘best presentation’ because they are the tables that face the street,” she recounted.

In addition, she recounted an experience in which he was called to attention for trying to seat a couple in the balcony area that did not meet the “standards” of the establishment, for which she assured that, as a result of the accusations, she realized that this was not an isolated case, but rather the way in which various branches possibly operate.

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