One of the chefs at a local Noodles & Company restaurant allegedly declined to serve a uniformed Alexandria, Virginia, cop because she was wearing her uniform. According to Alexandria police spokesperson Crystal Nosal, as the officer was waiting in line for supper, a female chef stepped out to the counter and told the cashier, “You better pull me off the line, because I’m not serving that,” nodding towards the officer.
When the chef and cashier began to giggle, the officer chose not to create a disturbance and left the restaurant, saying she just assumed they didn’t want her money. Yet the officer was not through with the situation. She immediately reported what had transpired to her boss, and Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook was not pleased.
Chief Cook was irritated and decided to make a visit to the restaurant to talk with management about their rude personnel. The Noodles & Company chef and cashier would soon discover how serious their error had been, and it’s fair to say the rude pair aren’t laughing anymore.
Obviously, as a police officer, one’s initial reaction is fury, Cook said of the moment his colleague informed him of what had transpired. These are challenging times right now with their relationships with everyone, and having one of his officers abused in that fashion needlessly — one’s initial reaction is fury, then one cools down a little.
He went on to say that he thought his officer managed the issue well by disengaging instead of intensifying the dispute, and that he was shocked this occurred in Alexandria since the police department had a very excellent connection with local businesses and citizens.
Once the restaurant informed Cook that an inquiry would be launched, management subsequently acknowledged that the event occurred exactly as the officer said. The restaurant eventually issued a statement on the incident.
Noodles & Company expects its team members to exhibit the highest levels of ethical and personal conduct. They cherish each and every one of their visitors and are dedicated to treating everyone with decency and respect, the statement continued. They do not allow any type of prejudice, the statement went on.
They are working with the proper authorities and local police association officials to investigate and address this situation as soon as possible, the statement said. They attempted to contact the implicated police officer but have yet to speak with her. They will continue to investigate the matter and will take the necessary steps once this investigation is completed.
After the incident, Noodles & Company said that both of the workers involved had been fired for showing disrespect to the officer. In a statement, the firm said that the beliefs and actions of these employees were ‘inexcusable’ and did not represent those of the company or the rest of the workers at the Duke Street office, the source continues.
They found the two team members in issue had behaved improperly and terminated their employment immediately, the business stated in a follow-up statement. They have the highest regard for law enforcement authorities and enjoy the longstanding relationship they have with the Alexandria Police Department.
But that’s not all.
The management and the restaurant have not only apologized to the Chief Cook and the officer concerned, but they are also going out of their way to remedy this error and make it clear to both their staff and the community where they stand in terms of supporting local law enforcement.
According to Pete Feltham, a spokesperson for the Alexandria Police Union, the restaurant aims to make up for the officer’s treatment by posting posters stating their support for the police on their doors. They hope that the company is not condemned by the acts of a few people, Feltham added.
Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg expressed her appreciation for Noodles & Company’s quick and thorough reaction to and full-throated apology for this unfortunate situation, adding that after extensive dialogue with the company’s regional and national leadership, they are satisfied that this situation was an anomaly and should not reflect on the company or its other hard-working employees.
Several readers were outraged. “I’m not sure why the aggrieved cop isn’t suing for $150,000.” This is the same as an Oregon bakery refusing to manufacture a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. “Discrimination is discrimination!” one reader said, while another took a more realistic approach, saying, “If I were a policeman, I’d be lot less worried about these blatantly anti-police folks than I would about someone silently harboring animosity and touching my food.” Either way, it’s a terrible state of affairs when anybody needs to worry about individuals who are handling their food simply due to the job route they have chosen.