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Cheesecake Factory: MAGA hat incident overblown

MAGA hat incident
Cheesecake Factory says it suspended employees over alleged MAGA hat harassment 00:41

Two employees who made "disparaging remarks" about a customer's "Make America Great Again" cap are no longer employed at The Cheesecake Factory, the company said Wednesday. However, the casual-dining chain believes the incident is being blown out of proportion. 

The widely publicized episode at a Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Miami occurred on Sunday, with a Daily Wire report quoting multiple witnesses as saying that the customer, Eugenior Joseph, had been surrounded by about a dozen Cheesecake employees. Joseph told the conservative news site that one employee tried to physically intimidate him, while others were "screaming things at me."

"Not all of the information reported by the media accurately portrays what occurred," a Cheesecake Factory spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch in a statement. "The situation may have been exacerbated by an all-staff meeting that took place during our shift change between our staff members working the lunch and dinner shifts – which may have been perceived as a crowd gathering near the guests' tables."

Cheesecake Factory, which operates 214 locations throughout North America, reiterated its disappointment over the incident, and said it hoped to speak with Joseph. 

"No guest should ever feel unwelcome in one of our restaurants and we are very sorry," the company said in its statement. "Our investigation is ongoing and we have reached out to Mr. Joseph directly to ask for his assistance."

Cheesecake Factory shares have dropped more than 2 percent since news of the incident surfaced.

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