FLORIDA—National fast-food chain Arby’s is in the spotlight after one of its employees at a South Florida chain restaurant was accused of refusing to serve a police officer.
Pembroke Pines Police Sergeant Jennifer Martin allegedly pulled up to the drive-thru of the restaurant when she was told by the manager that the employee in question, identified as 19-year-old Kenny Davenport, refused to serve her.
According to the police report filed, the manager told Martin: “He doesn’t want to serve you because you are a police officer.” The manager then provided the officer with her order, which she then chose to return for a refund out of fear its quality was compromised.
Davenport claims that his actions were wrongly misconstrued, arguing that he did not refuse service to the officer, but rather left to ask his manager for help during the busy hour.
He also claims that it was his manager that made the joke about his refusing to serve Martin, and that it was his right to do so.
The incident prompted the South Florida police union to call for a nationwide boycott of Arby’s. The Dade County Police Benevolent Association has also called for the employees involved to be fired.
Arby’s has been quick to address the incident. “We take this isolated matter very seriously as we respect and support police officers in our local communities,” the restaurant chain said in a public statement. “We will be following up with our team members to be sure that our policy of inclusion is understood and adhered to.”
The company’s CEO Paul Brown, along with Senior Vice President of Operations Scott Boatwright, also reached out to PPPD Chief Dan Giustino, who was outspoken in his disapproval over both employees’ actions.
Regarding the fate of those employees, Arby’s simply stated that it would be “following through with disciplinary action up to and including termination.”