Olive Garden has apologized to a Kansas City police officer who was turned away from the restaurant for being armed.
Officer Michael Holsworth went to an Independence, Mo., Olive Garden to celebrate his birthday with his family yesterday but was asked to leave by a hostess.
“As I was sitting there waiting, one of the employees told me ‘Sir, we don't allow guns in here,’” Holsworth, who was in full uniform and on duty, wrote on his Facebook page.
He initially thought the employee was joking but left when she told him she was serious.
“Now I never in my wildest thoughts would of thought this would happen in the Kansas City area,” Holsworth wrote on Facebook.
“What happened with Officer Holsworth was unacceptable and completely inconsistent with how we treat members of law enforcement,” Olive Garden spokesperson Rich Jeffers told ABC News today. “Police officers are always welcome at Olive Garden. They serve our communities and we love serving them.”
Jeffers expressed his “shock” over what happened, saying that it was “not company policy,” and added that for the past 14 years Olive Garden has been delivering hot meals across the country to police stations, fire stations and hospitals on Labor Day to show their appreciation for first responders.
He continued: “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.”
Officer Holsworth could not be reached for comment.