A Noodles & Company restaurant in Alexandria, Va. has fired two employees who reportedly refused to serve a police officer in uniform.
On July 25, one of the restaurant’s cooks reportedly refused to prepare food for the officer after seeing her standing in line in her uniform, and joked about the act with another employee.
Alexandria police spokeswoman Crystal Nosal told The Washington Post that the cook laughed with another employee about the cop in line. Nosal said that the cook said, “You better pull me off the line, because I’m not cooking for…,” and then gestured towards the officer. According to Nosal, the unnamed officer then said “I guess you don’t want my money,” and then stormed out of the restaurant.
The next day, Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook visited the restaurant on the officer’s behalf to talk to the manager. According to a statement from the restaurant chain, this resulted in both an apology from the manger and the firing of the two workers.
Alexandria police union member Pete Feltham told Washington, D.C. Fox affiliate WTTG that the restaurant also agreed to place a sign in its window stating “Blue Lives Matter.”
“I’m extremely disappointed; you don’t want your officers treated in this manner,” Cook told the Post. “We have a very supportive business community—that’s the last thing I would have expected to happen.”
The company also released a statement apologizing to the police.
“We have concluded the two team members in question acted inappropriately and we immediately terminated their employment,” the statement said. “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 Mayor Allison Silberberg agreed with the actions that Noodles & Company took against their employees. In a statement, she said she “appreciate Noodles & Company’s swift and thorough response to, and full-throated apology for, this unfortunate situation.”
“Noodles & Company expects the highest ethical and personal behavior from its team members,” the restaurant chain said. “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.”