A police officer from Virginia, went to a Noodles & Company restaurant on June 22, 2020, while wearing a uniform. Upon ordering an item off their menu, one of the leading chefs for the establishment, proclaimed that said officer would not be served while she was still wearing her uniform. As per reports by the police department, the officer in question was in line to be served on Duke Street within the city of Alexandria, when a female cook suddenly left the kitchen.
As the chef approached the cashier, she proclaimed that she needed to me pull off the line (taken off shift) as she refuses to serve police officers in uniform. In addition to that she made gestures towards the female officer as she laughed with the cashier, while the police offer left the establishment. Upon hearing about the incident, the Police Chief of Alexandra, Earl Cook, went to the restaurant himself on the 23rd of June 2020, to inquire about the circumstances as to why the officer was not served because she was in uniform. The police chief explained that he spoke to several managers who all apologized for the comments and behavior of the cook and cashier, as well as to ensure him that they would initiate an internal investigation into what happened.
In a news conference, he told reports that as police officers, upon hearing that another officer was treated unfairly, naturally invokes feelings of anger. He proclaimed that indeed we are in troubling times in regard to public relations, but to treat anyone unfairly because of your own personal beliefs, is unnecessary and counterproductive to everything that’s going on. According to the police chief, the management team of the restaurant confirmed that an employee did in fact refuse to serve the female officer on the 22nd of June. Upon revealing this to the press, the company subsequently released a public statement about the situation.
In their statement they proclaimed that the company expects all team members to demonstrate professionalism and integrity. The statement also proclaimed that they value every single guests, and are actively working to treat all people with respect and dignity. At the end of the statement, the company concluded that they do not tolerate any instances of discrimination, regardless of race, sex, occupation or age.
In addition to that, the company announced that they were actively working with police association representatives and several other discrimination investigative authorities in an effort to resolve the incident as quickly and fairly as possible. The company has also tried to communicate with the officer who was treated unfairly, but their efforts have been to no avail.
In response to the company’s public statement, a Police Union Representative, Pete Feltham, stated that the restaurant willingly cooperated with the Alexandria Police Department to identify the underlying facts as well as to promise to place several signs throughout the store to highlight that they support police officers. The representative also stated that the department hopes, the company will not suffer as a result of the actions of two individuals.