(CNN) – Saturday morning, 5:30ish at this IHOP on Fordham Drive, a Virginia Beach police officer left the restaurant at the very least feeling disrespected.
IHOP spokesperson Craig Hoffman: “It’s a he says, she says… whatever happened it’s a misunderstanding.”
Police won’t comment but social media blew up the story.
The original Facebook post from Rocco Grieco: “My uncle who is VBPD after a long, 12-hour night shift. He was in full uniform. While waiting to be seated, the manager/hostess told him ‘we don’t serve your kind’. He simply walked out.”
IHOP denies any comments about “not serving your kind.”
“While we certainly don’t call into question the veracity of the officer, the team member in question claims that is not what happened, that unfortunately she was trying to make a lame joke about the fact that the restaurant was open.”
This IHOP is open 24 hours seven days a week. The officer asked “Are you open?” Well, of course they’re open, but there wasn’t a soul inside.
“While I can certainly understand him interpreting that as not being welcome, that is not what was meant. It is not appropriate for her to have said. She has apologized. The franchisee has apologized. He’s reached out to the officer.”
It appears the “we don’t serve your kind” statement wasn’t racial, but possibly intended for a police officer from the African-American hostess.
IHOP gets that too. “Absolutely which is why it is important to clarify the situation.”
The whole story is ironic, because this IHOP apparently has a very close relationship with police, giving police the same discounts IHOP gives their own employees.
“And this is a restaurant that for many, many years has had a standing policy of welcoming police officers, fire officials and emergency medical personnel.”
The manager of that IHOP says the hostess has been put on leave.
Copyright 2015 CNN