A restaurant owner in New Jersey was put on the spot recently when an employee wrote a disparaging note on a police officer’s receipt. Now after facing fallout on social media, he has announced that the employee has been fired and that his business has nothing but respect for law enforcement. A police officer recently dined at the popular Romanelli’s Garden Cafe in Galloway Township, New Jersey, and was surprised by a nasty note written on his receipt.
When the officer got the slip of paper, there was an offensive message written on it, in which the writer referred to Law enforcement as “pigs,” and “puercos.” The officer shared a picture of the receipt on social media, instigating a Facebook firestorm.
The owner of Romanelli’s, Drew Huggard, responded on the restaurant’s Facebook page that the employee responsible had been reprimanded for their actions, saying:
““Good afternoon, I wanted to reach to everyone and apologize about an earlier post about a receipt that was handed over to police officer. I find this very gross and disrespectful. We have reprimanded the employees involved. We support our local police department and all forms of law enforcement. I am the owner I have grown up in this town and I have always relied on the local police dept. to keep myself and my family and friends safe. I would appreciate it you could understand our frustrating situation. We would like to just let let everyone know we do not condone this type of behavior here. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me Drew Huggard.”
This comment was quickly rebuked by several people who felt it was inadequate. One Facebook commenter not involved in the incident wrote “Sorry this employee should be fired. You don’t reprimand bad behavior. Clearly this employee did not respect his or her employer or his or her job.”
In response, Huggard had to explain a number of times that the employee in question was, in fact terminated for their actions.
At least a few commenters to the post showed their support for the embattled restauranter, like Jerri Fischer-Camp, who wrote
“Anyone that frequents Romanellis knows that Drew takes great pride in his business and making sure each customer is happy with their experience there. He and his establishment shouldn’t be held responsible for the actions of an employee. He has handled the situation and handled it quickly. I know he will do everything he can to make this right. Don’t boycott Romanelli’s because of an employee when that employee no longer works there. Give the owner a chance. He is a great guy and they have amazing food and will continue to do great things.”
This incident raises questions about responsibility, appropriate disciplinary measures, and the court of public opinion that we may be seeing more of as a nation continues to become ever more divided by political beliefs, while simultaneously more connected through social media.
Ultimately, we are all Americans and have a responsibility to each other, need to show compassion and understanding with those who come from different circumstances, and reserve judgment until we have all the facts.
Do you think people have been fair to the owner of Romanelli’s Garden Cafe? Do you think that an ill-advised outburst should cost someone their ability to earn a livelihood?