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Hardee’s restaurant exec apologizes after employees allegedly refused service to police officer

MILACA, Minn. -- A Hardee’s restaurant executive issued an apology after employees at the Hardee’s in Milaca refused service to a woman because she is a police officer.

Jackie Minks, an officer with the Milaca Police Department, was allegedly denied service Tuesday at the restaurant. Minks posted on Facebook that “a cook … refused to make food for me today because she doesn’t like cops.”

The post continues: “When I talked to the manager about it she dismissed it as ‘silly’ and said she wasn’t going to do anything with the employee.

“I asked for the phone number of her general manager and she said she didn’t have it. I asked for the phone number for the headquarters of Hardee’s, she told me to ‘look it up on Hardee’s.com.’”

Minks, along with several people in the comment thread following the post, said they called Hardee’s customer service line to lodge complaints. Kathy Kraft, one such commenter, posted the email reply she received from Dave Ostendorf, director of operations for Northland Restaurant Group, which owns several Hardee’s restaurants in the Upper Midwest.

“It is understandable that the conduct and decision making at the Milaca location yesterday was not made of sound judgement,” Ostendorf wrote. “It could have been handled in a much more professional manner.”

Ostendorf’s email said he had spoken at length with Minks and offered an apology to the officer.

“I wish to apologize to you as I did Jackie, for the less than deserving appreciation that was shown to her and that all officers deserve. We do not allow our employees to decide who gets served and who doesn’t. … There will be quick and decisive internal action taken to handle this matter.”

The Facebook comment thread was not public to all users.

Attempts to contact Minks and the Milaca Police Department were unsuccessful. Messages left with Hardee’s representatives also were not returned.

There have been other instances of fast food workers refusing to serve police officers. In September, one Arby’s employee was fired and another suspended after refusing to serve Sgt. Jennifer Martin of the Pembroke Pines (Fla.) Police Department.

In her police report, Martin wrote the drive-through window clerk, Kenneth Davenport, delayed Martin’s service intentionally. A manager, Angel Mirabal, told Martin that Davenport “doesn’t want to serve you because you are a police officer.” Mirabal later laughed and told Martin he was allowed to refuse service for that reason.

Arby’s spokesman Jason Rollins later told the Orlando Sun Sentinel that Mirabal was fired, while Davenport was suspended for two days with pay.

 
Robb Jeffries

Robb Jeffries is a news coordinator for Forum News Service. He is a graduate of the University of North Dakota and previously served as a reporter and copy editor for the Grand Forks Herald. Reach him at rjeffries@forumcomm.com and follow him on Twitter at @robbjeffries.

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