The trend of fast-food employees refusing to serve law-enforcement officials seems to be increasing, despite the offenders being fired in almost every case.
The latest offense took place in Sumiton, Alabama, where two employees at a Little Caesar’s pizza restaurant refused to take the order of Dora Police Sgt. Ronnie Phillips, Fox News reported.
Phillips finished his shift on Tuesday, Feb. 20, and drove home, in uniform and in his squad car.
On the way he pulled up at the Little Caesars drive-through, intending to bring home a pizza for dinner.
When he reached the ordering window, two employees refused to take his order.
Phillips was upset enough to share his story on Facebook.
“My family and I have been coming here since they opened several years ago!!!! I have NEVER in my entire life done anything, don’t know that I’ve ever even seen these females before. I can assure u I will never come back to this store!!!!” Phillips posted.
Little Caesars immediately investigated, and both employees were fired the next morning, Little Caesars Corporate Communications Manager Jill Proctor told Fox News.
“Two employees did refuse service to the police officer,” she said. “We don’t tolerate this. We are proud to serve those who tirelessly serve us, and we always strive to do our best.”
As a gesture of goodwill Little Caesars treated the entire Dora Police Department to free pizza the next day.
The company went further: it offered a free pizza to every police officer, current or retired, in the greater Birmingham metro area.
“We enjoyed serving hundreds of law enforcement officers and their families that day,” Proctor told Fox.
This disturbing trend of fast-food employees disrespecting police officers reaches back several months.
Two weeks ago, in two separate events, law enforcement officials were verbally abused or refused service in McDonald’s restaurants in two different towns—one in Illinois and one if Florida.
In the first incident, the drive-through window attendant addressed an Illinois state trooper with foul language when he arrived to pick up his meal. That employee was fired.
Lt. Tim Lancaster from the Palm Bay Florida Police Department, was refused service at a McDonald’s. Another employee had to deliver Lancaster’s food.
Another McDonald’s employee, this one in a restaurant in Virginia, was fired in July 2017 for refusing to serve a police officer.
Naff, who had already paid, had to wait at the window for someone to deliver the food he had bought.
In October 2017, a Whataburger employee refused service to two members of the Denison, Texas Police Department, and also verbally abused them. That employee was terminated.
Dennison Chief Jay Burch posted about the incident on Facebook, Fox reported.
His post, since removed started with Chief Burch saying he understood, “especially with the anti-police rhetoric from the national media and police-hate groups we see in the country, that many people buy into that rhetoric and dislike police.”
He added, “Most of those that I have come across in my career that hate cops are very familiar with us because many have a lengthy history of arrests or have friends or family members with such a history. I get all this and we get used to it for the most part.”
In July 2016 Taco Bell fired a cashier in Alabama for refusing to serve a police officer.
In August 2017, a Dunkin’ Donuts employee ignored two New York City plainclothes officers who had their badges displayed on their belts, the New York Post reported.
When another customer said, “These two guys were in front of me,” the employee responded, “Yeah, I know, but I don’t serve cops.”
Cathy Naff, wife of the Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries officer Scott Naff, posted on Facebook that she didn’t think firing the offending employees was the answer.
The post has been removed but Fox News reported that she wrote:
“We would really like to see some of the appropriate action being taken from McDonald’s, and working with their training programs and working with their hiring practices to ensure that anyone who comes to one of their stores is treated with the utmost respect.”