A uniformed Virginia police officer had walked into a Noodles & Company restaurant on Monday evening when one of the cooks stated that she would not be served as long as she was wearing the uniform.
According to the police department, the officer was standing in line at the restaurant on Duke Street in Alexandria when a female cook left the kitchen. She walked to the cashier and said, “You better pull me off the line, because I'm not serving that.” The cook gestured towards the officer. The two started laughing, and the officer walked out of the establishment.
Outraged, Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook visited the Noodles & Company restaurant on Tuesday and asked to speak to management about the incident. Chief Cook stated that the managers apologized for the incident, and promised to launch an internal investigation into the matter.
He stated, "Well your first response as a police officer is anger. These are very difficult times right now with our relations with everyone, and to have one of my officers treated in that manner unnecessarily – your first response is anger, then you calm down a bit."
According to Chief Cook, the restaurant’s management later revealed that the officer’s account of the incident was exactly what had happened.
Noodles & Company released a statement about the incident. It read:
"Noodles & Company expects the highest ethical and personal behavior from its team members. 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.
We are working with the appropriate authorities and local police association representatives to get to the bottom of, and resolve this matter as quickly as possible. We have made efforts to reach out to the police officer involved, but have not yet spoken with her. We will continue to look into the situation and will take the appropriate actions at the conclusion of this review."
Pete Feltham, Alexandria Police Union Representative, stated that the department received full cooperation from the restaurant following the incident. The restaurant also agreed to put signs on their doors in support of blue lives.
"We hope that the business is not judged by the actions of a couple of individuals," he said.