BRENHAM, Texas, July 29 (UPI) — Fast foot giant McDonald’s fired a Houston-area employee this week after refusing to serve an off-duty police officer.
The officer was with his family in a Brenham, Texas restaurant when the employee refused to serve him. A second employee saw the incident and served the officer instead.
McDonald’s management was told of the incident later and promptly fired the employee.
Brenham Police Department shrugged off the incident on their Facebook page, describing it as “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-TV. “Just like we ask the community and the country to not judge our police officers because other officers make bad decisions.”
McDonald’s stressed to Fortune Magazine it definitely was not the rule.
“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,” the company said. “All customers, including local law enforcement officers who protect and serve our communities, are always welcome at our restaurants.”
Brenham Police Chief Craig Goodman believes part of the reason the incident occurred was because the employee’s son is currently in jail for serious and unrelated charges.
Goodman said, the officer, a former Marine, is “disappointed in what happened, mainly because his kids were with him.”
Similar events have happened at fast-food outlets recently, illustrating the growing antipathy some have toward police after recent well-publicized shootings by police.
A Noodles Company, in Alexandria, Virginia and a Taco Bell in Alabama fired employees and quickly apologized after officers were refused service.
But casual dining chain Shoney’s is trying to go the opposite direction and offers free meals on Wednesdays to law enforcement to show their “tangible and heartfelt” gratitude.