Whataburger officials told Breitbart Texas that an employee who refused to serve two Denison, Texas, police officers is no employed by the company. The company moved quickly to rectify the situation after a store employee reportedly cursed at the officers, refused them service, and later refused to back down — claiming the department’s officers had “beat up” her boyfriend a few weeks earlier.
Without mentioning the state’s favorite hamburger chain by name, Denison Police Chief Jay Burch took to Facebook to tell the story about two of his officers who were refused service by the store’s employee. Burch said the employee not only refused to serve the officers but also cursed at them. The woman in question told a supervisor who came to check out the situation on October 14 that the “cops beat up my boyfriend and are racists,” the post states.
The supervisor obtained the information about the “arrest” from the woman and returned to the station where she reviewed the arrest records and the officer’s dash cam. The supervisor discovered a “routine arrest” with no physical altercation and no injuries to anyone. “So the employee was simply lying about her boyfriend getting ‘beat up’ by police,” Burch stated.
Breitbart Texas reached out to Whataburger corporate headquarters to get their response to the chief’s story.
“We immediately launched an internal investigation when we heard these reports, and have learned of an isolated incident where an individual employee acted out of line with Whataburger’s values to treat all customers with respect,” Whataburger communications officials stated in an email to Breitbart Texas. “We took swift action and this person is no longer employed by us. We’ve also reached out to the police sergeant to apologize and plan to speak with the other officers involved to apologize in person and make this right. Whataburger truly appreciates our law enforcement and their efforts to protect and serve our communities.”
Chief Burch updated his Facebook page with a new post where he expressed his gratitude for the support he and his officers received from locals, as well as people across the state and country. He said he spoke with Whataburger local and corporate executives who told him they had taken care of the situation and the employee’s actions were not reflective of the store’s or the company’s values.
“In my conversation yesterday with the Whataburger CEO, I was grateful for the apology but noted concern that as these incidents become more prevalent, apologies can be perceived as just a band-aid to a bigger problem,” Burch expressed. “For example, all employees of the City of Denison, not just police officers, are taught in new employee orientation the values of our organization and in our manual we receive details of acceptable and unacceptable behavior by employees, plus the consequences of violating expectations. We sign off on that when hired. I expressed the same idea to Whataburger and said I wish all corporations that serve the public would do the same with new employees, and I’m sure many do.”
“We’re so grateful for the local show of support of our officers from citizens and businesses, not just in Denison but also from Sherman and Grayson County,” the chief wrote. “Many of those businesses invited officers to come to their establishments whenever they wish so we appreciate that.”
“Thank you again to all of you locally and around the country for your support,” Burch concluded. “We hope you’ll give Whataburger another chance as we will.”
Denison is a small community of about 23,000 people located in North Texas near the Texas/Oklahoma border.
Whataburger has a long history of supporting law enforcement officers and other first responders in the communities they serve across Texas. Following Houston’s “Tax Day” flooding in April, the chain quickly responded and offered free meals to first responders at all of its Houston restaurants, Breitbart Texas reported.
Following the devastating flooding that followed Hurricane Harvey in September, Whataburger again responded to the needs of first responders. Despite many of its own stores being flooded, Whataburger delivered hot food to many disaster relief workers, including a fire fighter from New York City who got his first taste of the Texas iconic burger. The free meals offer lasted for several days.
The skeptical fireman said, “Texas guys wanna tell me ‘This is a burger,’ this is the official Texas burger,” he said as he prepared to take his first bite. “I don’t think so, but we’re gonna see right now.” Another New Yorker can be heard off camera saying, “Forget about it.”
“Mmmm,” he exclaimed after tasting the Whataburger. He grinned and said, “That is a good burger,” while pointing as his treat. He grinned at the camera and gave a big thumbs-up while nodding his head.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, GAB, and Facebook.