It seems as if denying service to law enforcement officers is becoming a bit of a trend in the fast food industry.
A McDonald’s employee was fired this week after refusing to serve a police officer. KHOU was the first to report the incident, which occurred at a location in Brenham, Texas. The off duty police officer was with his family at the time. When a second employee saw what was going on, the worker interfered and served the officer.
When McDonald’s became aware of the incident, the first employee was promptly terminated. In a statement posted to Facebook, the Brenham Police Department stressed that this was “the exception rather than the rule.” “We’re not judging McDonald’s and their employees based on the action of this one worker,” Police Chief Craig Goodman told KHOU. “Just like we ask the community and the country to not judge our police officers because other officers make bad decisions.”
“At our restaurants, we proudly support police officers and all divisions of first responders. We are grateful for the chief of police, and the force, for understanding that this was an isolated incident,” McDonald’s told Fortune in a statement. “All customers, including local law enforcement officers who protect and serve our communities, are always welcome at our restaurants.”
A similar incident occurred at another fast food chain, Noodles & Company, in Alexandria, Virginia where WJLA reports two employees were fired on Thursday for refusing to serve a local police officer. “Discrimination of any kind is never tolerated at Noodles & Company,” the chain told Fortune in a statement. “The views and actions of these individuals are in no way reflective of the Company or team at our Alexandria location.”
This kind of thing appears to be a trend lately. Fortune reported last week that an employee at a Taco Bell location in Alabama was fired for the same reason. She told two sheriff’s deputies who were trying to order food, “We don’t serve law enforcement, and you need to leave.”
There are, however, people on the opposite end showing their support for authorities through food. Casual dining chain Shoney’s offered free meals on Wednesday to law enforcement officers as a “tangible and heartfelt” show of gratitude.