Cook Refuses Service to Virginia Police Officer, Union Says

The restaurant said it is interviewing the employees involved

What to Know

  • A police officer went to Noodles & Company in Alexandria for dinner Monday.
  • A cook told the person working the cash register he would not serve the police officer.
  • Restaurant management met with the police chief and union Tuesday and is reviewing the employees involved.

A cook at a restaurant in Virginia refused to serve a police officer in uniform Monday night, a police union says.

An officer in the Alexandria Police Department stopped by Noodles & Company on Duke Street in Alexandria for dinner, Alexandria Committee of Police Vice President Peter Feltham said. 

As she stood in line, a cook exited the kitchen, approached the cashier and pointed at the officer, Feltham said he was told. 

"You’re going to have to take me off the line, I ain’t serving that," the cook allegedly said.

“The officer realized what was happening and rather than making an incident of it, the officer just left the business,” Feltham said.

Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook and a representative of the Alexandria Police Union met with restaurant management Tuesday.

“These are very difficult times right now in our relations with everyone, and to have one of my officers treated in that manner unnecessarily, your first response is anger,” Cook said. “Then you calm down a bit and say, let’s just find out what happened.”

Noodles & Company told News4 the company does not “tolerate any form of discrimination.” The restaurant said managers reached out to the officer but have not spoken with her yet.

The restaurant said it is interviewing the employees allegedly involved.

“We will continue to look into the situation and will take the appropriate actions at the conclusion of this review,” Noodles & Company said in a statement.

The police union said the restaurant is already taking steps to amend the matter, and has "agreed to post signs on their door that they support blue lives,” Feltham said.

Cook said this kind of incident is rare for his officers. 

“I must say we have tremendous support from the Alexandria business community, so this is an anomaly for one of my officers to walk into a business and run into this type of attitude,” Cook said.

He praised the officer’s response.

In a statement sent Tuesday afternoon, Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg emphasized that the officer didn't publicize the incident herself and asked that the news media and the public respect her privacy.

"We thank the company for reaching out to the Alexandria Police Department about this unfortunate situation, and we believe that our officer’s experience was not representative of the company’s values or policies," Silberberg said. "At this point, further investigation is an internal matter for the company. We are grateful to her and to all who serve with honor every day so that we may live in safety and peace."

Noodles & Company issued a statement:

"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."

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