BATTLE BLUFFS, Miss.
(AP) A Louisiana barbecue chain owner says he apologized after video of him punching a customer during a customer-service encounter went viral and led to him being fired.
The video of the July 22 incident has been viewed more than 1.4 million times on YouTube and has drawn widespread condemnation.
In the video, a man in a suit and tie walks into the patio area at a nearby barbecue and grabs a customer who is sitting at the barbecue grill.
The man then walks back out of the restaurant and appears to punch the man in the face before taking off his suit and walking away.
The video has been shared more than 3.5 million times.
Louisiana-based Barbecue Pit owner Eric Fink has said he’s sorry.
The Louisiana State Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services released a statement Thursday saying Fink was “reluctant to participate in the board’s investigation.”
“In light of recent events that have raised serious concerns about the safety of our employees and our customers, we have decided to terminate his employment pending an investigation by the board,” the statement said.
Fink is a self-proclaimed barbecue fanatic who said he has been a customer for over 40 years.
He owns the restaurant chain in Louisiana’s Baton Rouge, where it’s located.
The company has more than 6,000 restaurants in the state.
The Louisiana Restaurant Association has also called for an investigation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.