While waiting to place an order at a Five Guys restaurant, police officers were soon berated by an employee hurling anti-law enforcement slurs at them. However, once the restaurant owner found out about the incident, it was clear whose side they were on.
After entering a Five Guys Burgers and Fries in New Jersey, several Howell Police officers encountered a humiliating situation. The Route 9 South location came under fire after five uniformed officers say they were discriminated against and berated for being part of law enforcement.
“Just walked into Five Guys along with several members of Howell Police Department for dinner,” a witness explained in a Facebook post. “Upon seeing the officers in uniform enter the restaurant, one of the employees behind the counter shouted ‘piggies’ and ‘get out the pork.’”
According to witnesses, the teen continued to make disparaging comments while other employees behind the counter laughed. After being humiliated, the group of officers then left the establishment without placing their orders.
“Any establishment that doesn’t support the Howell Road Dogs can close up and relocate,” the witness railed in the post. “The disgraced employee is fortunate to be protected by such an elite police department.”
Hours later, restaurant owner Steve Gilmartin heard about the incident and promptly took action. Instead of launching an internal investigation or defending the employee, the owner immediately apologized to the officers. The employee in question was swiftly fired, Blue Lives Matter reports. He explained that he was “shocked and embarrassed” by his staff’s actions and would be meeting with Chief Kudrick the next morning.
“An employee insulted members of the Howell Township Police Department when they came in to dine this evening,” Gilmartin said. “The employee in question was terminated immediately as Five Guys has a zero tolerance policy for such situations.”
District Manager Courtney Pechillo told Asbury Park Press that the employee had been there for around a year but was fired within minutes of the incident. She explained that the restaurant will never accept such behavior from its employees.
Gilmartin admitted that the 17-year-old employee had been an exceptional worker until the rude outburst. Although Pechillo believes that the comments were due to a lapse in judgment, his choice of words was completely unacceptable.
“He thought he was being funny,” Pechillo said of the 17-year-old. “It wasn’t funny.”
Chief Kudrick thanked the establishment for its quick action and accepted the apology. He met with Gilmartin and had lunch with Pechillo to remedy the incident, agreeing that “the action of one is not a reflection of all.”
Kurdrick concluded with a call to the community to support the restaurant. He added that the location showed how to properly handle such a situation, as anti-law enforcement sentiment and discrimination are on the rise.
In an effort to restore relations, the restaurant announced a community event to benefit the Howell Policemen’s Benevolent Association. For every purchase, the establishment agreed to donate 100 percent of proceeds to the organization.