The early lunchtime business at an Arby’s restaurant that was the site of a discrimination controversy this week appeared slow on Friday.
An offer by the fast food company of free meals for police officers after a Pembroke Pines cop said one of its workers declined to serve her because of her job did not draw men and women in uniform to that location.
The company confirmed that it fired manager Humberto Angel Mirabal, 22, and put clerk Kenneth Davenport, 19, on “temporary paid leave.”
The Pembroke Pines police chief demanded and quickly received an apology Wednesday from the Arby’s restaurant chain after one of the city’s uniformed officers reported being denied service “due to being a police officer.” The incident allegedly happened Tuesday evening at the Arby’s at 11755 Pines Blvd. in the Pembroke Lakes Mall. (Marian Liu / Sun Sentinel)
A spokesman for Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. declined to say how long Davenport’s leave would last.
A statement released Friday from the company on behalf of Paul Brown, chief executive officer of Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc., said he was in South Florida to give free meals to any officers who accepted its conciliatory offer.
Brown called the company’s decisions about its personnel “complex and difficult” and said they were made after a “thorough investigation.
“…we ultimately found that the crew member was not involved other than to attempt to remedy the situation,” Brown said. “We have reviewed our process and decision with the Pembroke Pines Police Department, who made it clear they consider the case closed.”
Mirabal and Davenport were working a night shift Tuesday at the restaurant at 11755 Pines Blvd., when Sgt. Jennifer Martin, 34, said Mirabal told her, “He doesn’t want to serve you because you are a police officer.”
Mirabal had to order Davenport to process Martin’s credit card and she became uncomfortable about dining there, according to her offense report. Martin went inside the restaurant and got a refund, when she said Mirabal laughed and told her he was allowed to refuse to serve her.
Davenport later said the comment from Mirabal was an attempt at a joke that backfired. After finding himself so busy with other customers than he could not complete Martin’s transaction, Davenport said he asked Mirabal for help. That’s when Mirabal made his remark, Davenport said.