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NC Bojangles’ locked out Trump supporters after MAGA rally, chain apologizes




Bojangles’ apologized Tuesday for one of its restaurants locking out supporters of President Donald Trump after his appearance at a large rally in Charlotte Monday night.

The Bojangles’ restaurant location, on Monroe Road in Charlotte, is just a 10-minute walk from the Bojangles’ Coliseum where Trump spoke to more than 10,000 people. The venue for the “Make America Great Again” rally was full, with attendees without seats watching on a big screen in the parking lot.

Bojangles’ is based in Charlotte.

Now some Trump supporters say they’ll boycott the chicken restaurant chain after being refused service even though they’d arrived nearly an hour before closing time.

The head of the chain’s communications told The Charlotte Observer in an interview Tuesday the restaurant was likely overwhelmed with customers following Trump’s event.

Still, he apologized. He did not confirm whether the people locked out of the restaurant were given any explanation for its sudden closure.

“We apologize for anyone who felt they were treated in a way that was disrespectful,” Brian Little, head of communications said by phone.

“This is not in line with who we are as a business. We serve everyone who wants to purchase one of our (items).”
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Bojangles’ apologized for one of its restaurants locking out supporters of President Donald Trump after his appearance at a large rally in Charlotte on March 2, 2020. CONTRIBUTED BY MICHAEL FURICK
Monday night’s lockout came to light after a Charlotte man who attended the rally posted on Facebook how he and other Trump supporters were refused entry to the restaurant.

“Bojangles locked the doors to the Trump rally last night and denied service,” Michael Furick posted. “Ironic because the rally was at Bojangles arena ... This is pretty distasteful. I walk up to the door and people are gathered around and stated they would not serve Trump supporters.”
Furick included a couple of pictures with his post, including one of a worker in the store putting his hand in a “stop” gesture toward those outside. The mood was somewhat tense with Furick acknowledging the employee was gesturing back to him because he’d raised his middle finger after being locked out.

Another photo shows at least a half-dozen people standing outside the restaurant, some holding Trump signs from the rally.

At least two dozen other people had previously stood outside the restaurant before he took the photo, Furick said. Those people were also denied food, according to Furick.
Little said he could not confirm what workers said “in the heat of the moment” to the large contingent of Trump supporters who went to the restaurant after Trump’s appearance on the eve of Tuesday’s presidential primary.

He said the “young shift manager” on duty was wrong to lock the doors despite feeling overwhelmed by the large sudden crowd. The manager overreacted, Little said. Little said he did not know how many Trump supporters showed up at the restaurant.

“He didn’t know what to do,” Little said. “He just closed the restaurant.”

Later, the shift manager called his manager, who showed up and unlocked the doors, allowing everyone to purchase food.

Furick said he is 38 and the owner of a manufacturing company. He said he doesn’t blame the young shift manager for the debacle as much as Bojangles’ corporate for not having better prepared for such a large turnout at its namesake arena just a block away.

Reaction on social media from Trump supporters was swift Tuesday.

“What?????” one man asked. “Boycott in order.”

“This is a great business model,” another man said sarcastically.

“That’s their choice, now I will adjust my choices,” posted another Trump supporter.
Others encouraged people to call Bojangles’ headquarters to complain and said the lockout amounted to discrimination.

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