Lawrence Specker

Alabama Media Group, Birmingham

A Daphne restaurant says it has fired and suspended employees, and added training, after staff apparently refused to serve Daphne Police officers earlier this week.

The incident was first reported earlier this week by some outlets based on a complaint from an anonymous law enforcement source. Without giving full details of the confrontation, the Daphne Police Department issued a statement Wednesday describing the situation as “unfortunate.”

“The Daphne Police Department appreciates the outpouring of support from our community and from supporters of law enforcement across the country,” that statement said, in part. “We also want to thank Five Guys on a corporate and local level. We have been working through this situation and there has been total cooperation. The Daphne Police Department does not think that the actions of a few employees represents Five Guys as a whole.”

The statement went on to say some officers had initially entered the restaurant without face masks, became aware of a mask requirement, and returned after getting masks from their vehicles.

On Friday, the restaurant posted an update:

“Five Guys and the Daphne, AL franchise want to thank the Daphne Police Department for their support in working together toward a resolution,” it said. “The actions the Daphne, AL franchise have taken include termination and suspension of the employees involved. The store has temporarily closed for further education and customer service training with a representative from the Daphne Police Department and will reopen at 4PM today, July 10th. As we uphold our commitment to fair, respectful, and equal treatment for all customers, please know that the actions and sentiments of a few employees in Daphne, AL do not represent Five Guys or the local franchisee.”

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