In the last week of July, an Alexandria, Virginia, outlet of the upscale fast food restaurant Noodles & Company earned some bad publicity when several of its employees refused to serve a police officer. Now, the chain has made a move to rectify the situation by firing two employees.
On July 25, a female officer of the Alexandria Police Department observed the restaurant’s cook telling a cashier that he would not cook food for any police officers. The officer left the store and reported the incident to her superiors.
At the time, Alexandria police chief Earl Cook told the media that the incident angered him.
“Well, your first response as a police officer is anger,” the chief said, adding:
These are very difficult times right now with our relations with everyone, and to have one of my officers treated in that manner unnecessarily, your first response is anger; then you calm down a bit as usual, let’s find out what happened, and as we have talked to our officer and talking to the store management, it seems to have happened as my officer stated.
The restaurant did not issue an immediate apology, saying only that it was investigating the incident. But now, it appears the investigation has ended in the firing of two employees.
A spokesman for the restaurant chain said that after an investigation where all parties were given a chance to tell their stories, two employees were immediately fired.
The chain released a statement:
Discrimination of any kind is never tolerated at Noodles & Company. After completing a thorough investigation into the allegations brought to us by a police officer who visited our Alexandria, VA location, we have concluded the two team members in question acted inappropriately and we immediately terminated their employment. The views and actions of these individuals are in no way reflective of the Company or team at our Alexandria location.
We want to thank the entire Alexandria Police Department for their assistance in this investigation. We have spoken with the officer involved and apologized for the inexcusable actions of these individuals.
Further, we want to extend our apologies to the entire Alexandria Police Department for the comments made by our team member. We have the utmost respect for law enforcement officials and value the relationship we have built with the local Alexandria Police Department over the years.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.