Olive Garden has issued an apology to a Kansas City police officer after he was told he wasn’t welcome inside the restaurant while carrying a gun.
Officer Michael Holsworth shared his story on Facebook, saying,
“So I was going to eat lunch with my family today (10-11-2015), we had decided to go to the Olive Garden in Independence off 40hwy and Noland Rd for my birthday lunch. They were running late getting there so I decided to go inside and wait for them. I walked in and sat down on a bench just inside the doors. As I was sitting there waiting, one of the employees told me ‘Sir, we don’t allow guns in here.’ Now mind you I am in full police uniform and on duty. I actually thought it was a joke at first so I asked her ” Are you serious?” She replied back with ‘Yes’. So I told her ‘well I can leave I guess.’ She then replied back ‘yes please leave'”
The post was quickly shared all over Facebook – it currently sits at around 22,000.
“Now I never in my wildest thoughts would of thought this would happen in the Kansas City area. I see it happening all over the United States to other officers but never thought it would of happened to me. Please share this post and let everyone know how this establishment is treating their local law enforcement,” said Holsworth.
And, as would be expected after online outrage, Olive Garden has apologized. It’s “not company policy,” according to Olive Garden spokesperson Rich Jeffers.
“What happened with Officer Holsworth was unacceptable and completely inconsistent with how we treat members of law enforcement. Police officers are always welcome at Olive Garden. They serve our communities and we love serving them. Take the police part out, the fact that a guest was not made to feel welcome in one of our restaurants is completely counter to the values of Olive Garden,” he told ABC News.
Remember, when you’re there – you’re family.
In a similar but not quite identical story, an Army National Guard solider was refused service at a Kentucky Waffle House after he entered with a sidearm. The Nicholasville Waffle House stood by that decision, saying,
“For many years we have had a ‘No Firearms’ policy in place in our restaurants. We continue to believe this is the best policy for the safety of our customers and associates.”