On Monday July 25th a uniformed Alexandria female officer was denied service at the Noodles & Company restaurant. According to a representative of the Alexandria Police Department said one of the restaurant’s cooks refused to serve her while she was wearing a uniform.
While the officer was standing in line at the Noodles & Company location on Duke Street, the department says a female cook came out from the back and told the cashier, ‘You better pull me off the line, because I’m not serving that,’ gesturing at the officer. The department says the cashier and the cook started laughing, and the officer left.
When told about the incident Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook was upset enough to visit the restaurant on Tuesday to speak with members of management. Chief Cook said the managers apologized for the incident, and said they would conduct an internal investigation into the incident.
“Well your first response as a police officer is anger. 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.”
While meeting with the members of management Chief Cook said the restaurant’s management told him it appears the situation unfolded just as his officer said it had.
After the incident the corporate office for Noodles & Company released the following statement on Tuesday:
“Noodles & Company expects the highest ethical and personal behavior from its team members. We value each of our guests and are committed to treating every one with dignity and respect. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination.
We are working with the appropriate authorities and local police association representatives to get to the bottom of, and resolve this matter as quickly as possible. We have made efforts to reach out to the police officer involved, but have not yet spoken with her. We will continue to look into the situation and will take the appropriate actions at the conclusion of this review.”
After attempts to contact and speak with management concerning the incident on Wednesday was unsuccessful. It was announced on Thursday by The Director of Communications for the restaurant confirmed the termination and said they completed a thorough investigation of the claims. After hearing from everyone involved, they immediately terminated the two employees.
After the announcement by The Director of Communications another statement was released by Noodles & Company:
“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.”
Alexandria Police Union Representative Pete Feltham said that the restaurant was very cooperative following the incident, and they have agreed to post signs on their doors to support blue lives.
In addition Feltham stated:
“We hope that the business is not judged by the actions of a couple of individuals.”