Olive Garden apologized to a police officer who was asked to leave the restaurant because he was armed.
The Kansas City Star reports that the incident took place in Independence, where the cop was at Olive Garden with his family celebrating his birthday. Officer Michael Holsworth was wearing his uniform and had a gun because he was on-duty at the time, the company spokesman said on Sunday. While he was waiting on a bench, one of the Olive Garden employees asked the police officer to leave, telling him that guns weren’t allowed in the restaurant. At first, Holsworth thought it was a joke, but when he asked the employee if she was serious, she said, “Yes.”
Police Officer Tries to eat at Olive Garden With Family…This Happens IMMEDIATELY http://t.co/DHGtSRNuKT pic.twitter.com/3j0s3tmzGz
— Young Conservatives (@YoungCons) October 12, 2015
Dave George, the president of Olive Garden, issued a personal apology to Officer Michael Holsworth for his bad experience at the restaurant’s chain location at U.S. 40 and Noland Road. Rich Jeffers, a spokesman for Olive Garden, said that the employee obviously made a mistake by asking the police officer to leave the restaurant because he was armed.
Jeffers deems what the employee said to Holsworth as “unacceptable.”
“It’s unacceptable, that’s what it is. Olive Garden welcomes members of law enforcement all the time in the restaurants. We love serving them. They serve our community. The least we can do is provide them a great meal.”
Kansas City Fraternal Order of Police President, Brad Lemon, sent a tweet Sunday evening saying that Olive Garden should be ashamed of asking a police officer to leave because he had on a gun — a crucial part of a cop’s full uniform while on-duty.
@olivegarden Today a uniformed officer was told that he had to leave your Independence Mo store because he had a gun. You should be ashamed
— Brad Lemon (@FOPLemon) October 11, 2015
Olive Garden responded to Lemon’s tweet by saying that the incident was a “misunderstanding and that law enforcement officers are always welcome,” according to the report.
Kansas City Police Chief, Darryl Forté, said via Twitter that he had spoken with one of the Olive Garden managers. She apparently expressed concern and said that police officers are welcome there.
It was about an hour after Lemon’s tweet was posted that a statement to the Kansas City FOP’s Facebook page was received from Olive Garden. The post mentioned that a spokesperson for the national chain called and offered an apology. The restaurant also called Holsworth and apologized to him.
Officer Michael Holsworth wrote about his experience on Facebook after he was asked to leave Olive Garden.
“Now I never in my wildest thoughts would of thought this would happen in the Kansas City area. I see it happening all over the United States to other officers but never thought it would of happened to me.
“Please share this post and let everyone know how this establishment is treating their local law enforcement.”
The Inquisitr recently wrote about another incident involving a cop who went inside a Dunkin’ Donuts in Connecticut. The man was made to feel unwelcome when an employee on the other side of the counter scribbled “black lives matter” on his coffee cup.
A separate incident just days before that had a manager/employee say loudly to another that the officer in line must not have heard her because she said they don’t serve cops. The officer left the building and as he was getting into his cruiser, the employee who made the offensive remark ran after him. She told him that she was just kidding around, but the officer wasn’t impressed. He told her instead of apologizing to him, that she should go back inside and tell everyone who was offended by her comment that she was sorry. The cop then told the Dunkin’ Donuts’ manager/employee that he wouldn’t go to that particular store anymore.
Olive Garden asking a police officer to leave because he was armed with a gun appears to be a genuine mistake, but it’s bad one to make. It’s unknown if the employee who asked Officer Michael Holsworth to leave is still working at the restaurant or not.