SAN FRANCISCO—The owner of the Pizza Squared on 885 Brannon Street fired one of their employees for refusing to serve police officers at the restaurant.
According to reports, the employee told several officers that they were not welcome and asked them to leave on Sunday, January 29. The same officers frequented the restaurant before and never had an employee deny them service.
The San Francisco Police Officers Association described the employee’s behavior as “shameful and hateful” and sought an apology from the business which they later received.
“We appreciate the owner’s swift apology, praise for the hard work our officers do, and the owner’s commitment to meeting with the affected officers,” the SFPO association stated.
On Twitter, the owner of the restaurant wrote:
“This employee was a trainee & on his third day. When our shift manager told us about the incident after it happened, we expressly told him we didn’t share his views & that he was out of line. He was fired at the end of the day.”
As a result of the incident, several one star reviews appeared on Yelp directly referencing what happened and criticized the decision to ask the officers to leave. “They dislike cops!!” a Yelper from San Francisco who goes by Anney T. wrote. “They were rude to them and told the cops to leave! When they didn’t do anything wrong ! Don’t patrol this place.” Some Twitter users expressed that they refuse to patronize Pizza Squared unless the employee in question was fired.
On Tuesday, January 31, Yelp listed a warning on the restaurant’s page that reads:
“This business is being monitored by Yelp’s Support team for content related to media reports.” This incident has sparked debate in the San Francisco community.
David Hellman, a San Francisco artist, tweeted: “Try to just leave people alone when they ask instead of harassing and intimidating them! I’m sure you can get pizza somewhere else you hog.”
“Wow, you sound like an awful company to work for!” tweeted activist Sasha Perigo.
Another Twitter user from San Francisco, Matt Card, wrote: “the employee was trying to protect themselves, the other employees and the customers.”