ALEXANDRIA, Va. - UPDATE: Noodles & Company announced Thursday that the two employees involved in this incident have been terminated. Click here to read the updated story.
A uniformed Virginia police officer was denied service at a Noodles & Company restaurant Monday evening. The Alexandria Police Department said one of the restaurant's cooks refused to serve her while she was wearing a uniform.
As the officer was standing in line at the Noodles & Company location on Duke Street in Alexandria, the department says a female cook came out from the back and told the cashier, 'You better pull me off the line, because I'm not serving that,' gesturing at the officer. The department says the cashier and the cook started laughing, and the officer left.
Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook was upset enough to visit the restaurant on Tuesday to speak with management. Chief Cook says managers apologized for the incident, and said they would conduct an internal investigation into the incident.
"Well your first response as a police officer is anger," said Chief Cook. "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."
Cook said the restaurant's management told him it appears the situation unfolded just as his officer said it had.
Noodles & Company released the following statement on the incident:
"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."
Alexandria Police Union Representative Pete Feltham said the restaurant has been very cooperative following the incident, and they have agreed to post signs on their doors to support blue lives.
"We hope that the business is not judged by the actions of a couple of individuals," said Feltham.