Dunkin' Donuts says it will work with stores after police service complaints

Dunkin' Donuts says it will work with store owners and employees after complaints from police officers.

Story highlights

  • Police officers in Rhode Island, Connecticut complain about service at Dunkin' Donuts
  • One says he was refused service; another says he got a cup labeled "#blacklivesmatter"
  • The chain says it values police and will work with stores on service

(CNN)Dunkin' Donuts said Tuesday that it will work with store owners and employees across the country "to reinforce our obligation to serve all of our guests with dignity and respect" after two incidents in which police officers complained they were mistreated.

In an incident Friday in Providence, Rhode Island, the local police union said an officer received a cup labeled with the social justice message "#blacklivesmatter," according to media reports. The Fraternal Order of Police union representing the officer, who has not been publicly identified, called the incident "unacceptable and discouraging."
In the second, on Saturday, a Dunkin' Donuts employee reportedly told an officer, "We don't serve cops here," according to CNN affiliate WTNH. The store manager and the employee followed the officer out and apologized, the station reported.
    Dunkin' Donuts initially reacted over the weekend, calling the incidents isolated and noting that both franchise owners had apologized.
    On Tuesday, as some customers threatened a boycott on social media, the company issued an updated statement that said "two young crew members exhibited poor judgment while serving local police officers who were guests in our restaurants."
    "From first responders to the military, Dunkin' Donuts has a long history of supporting those responsible for the safety of our neighborhoods and our country," the company's statement said.
    "While these particular incidents are isolated to two restaurants, we see this as an opportunity to work closely with all of our franchisees and their crew members across the country to reinforce our obligation to serve all of our guests with dignity and respect, and to demonstrate our sincere appreciation and gratitude to everyone who makes Dunkin' Donuts part of their daily lives."
    The incidents are the latest in what some police and law enforcement supporters see as a growing wave of anti-police sentiment prompted by the Black Lives Matter movement.
    Last month, chain restaurant Whataburger fired an employee who refused service to two Lewisville, Texas, officers, according to CNN affiliate WFAA. A similar incident occurred last month at an Arby's in south Florida, CNN affiliate WPLG reported. Both incidents drew strong rebukes from corporate officials.
    But some customers reacting on social media to Dunkin' Donuts' initial apology said it was not enough and vowed to boycott the company unless the employees in question were fired.
    "As law enforcement I will not be purchasing anything from or made by your brand until the employees are fired," Facebook user Jenny McAninch wrote.
    But some supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement said the Rhode Island incident had been overblown by the police officer and the union.
    "I find this hilarious," Facebook user Rachael D'Agostino wrote. "‪#‎blacklivesmatter‬ is obviously, and far from, anti police, and certainly not condoning violence upon the police. That is most obvious and quite a laughable statement from some power hungry ego maniac po po."
    The Connecticut State Police also tweeted its support of Dunkin' Donuts, saying, "despite the actions of 1, we know our friends @DunkinDonuts support us."