An employee at the Texas chain Whataburger has been fired after he refused to serve two off-duty police officers Tuesday night because they were in uniform.
Officer Cameron Beckham and Reserve Deputy Michael Magovern stopped at Whataburger on their way to work a second job as overnight traffic security officers at a construction site. The pair were forced to leave Whataburger empty handed when the cashier denied them service.
— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) September 16, 2015
Cody Ramsey, another Whataburger customer who witnessed the event, tweeted the company’s corporate Twitter account, according to the Blaze.
“Uh oh. Denied service to police officers in Lewisville, TX. This isn’t going to go well.”
The Whataburger corporate account responded an hour later via Twitter.
“We would never condone this action and this is completely unacceptable. We are working hard to address this as soon as possible.”
The officers decided to eat at Dairy Queen instead and said they don’t hold the company responsible for the actions of one employee, according to WBAP Radio.
“Just like I thought when we walked out of there, that is in no way shape or form indicative of Whataburger.”
Instead, the officers point to growing social media trends and a backlash against law enforcement officers.
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) September 16, 2015
Whataburger issued a statement apologizing for the cashier’s actions Wednesday and invited the two officers back for a free meal, according to the Dallas Morning News.
“We were appalled to hear of an employee refusing service to two officers, as we have proudly served first responders across our system for decades. As soon as we heard of this isolated incident, we began our own internal investigation overnight. The employee that refused service is no longer employed with Whataburger. We’ve also invited the officers back today so we can apologize in person and make this right.”
Earlier this year, employees at a Florida Arby’s refused to serve a uniformed police officer. A manager was fired and an employee suspended because of the incident, which the company claims was an ill-conceived joke gone bad.
Sergeant Jennifer Martin was in uniform and driving a patrol when she ordered her food at a speaker box but was denied food when she pulled around to pay for it.
Someone inside the restaurant served the officer anyway, but she said she was uncomfortable and asked for a refund. Arby’s apologized for the situation and offered free meals for local law enforcement.
[Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images]