INDEPENDENCE, Missouri — All Michael Holsworth wanted to do on Sunday was enjoy a nice birthday lunch with his family, but a hostess at Olive Garden wouldn’t even let him wait in the restaurant.
The Kansas City police officer was dressed in full uniform when he was refused service from the Olive Garden on 40 Highway and Noland Road for carrying his service weapon, WDAF-TV reported.
The employee allegedly asked Holsworth to leave the restaurant. Believing it was a joke, he asked the hostess if she was serious. Her simple reply was: “Yes, please leave.”
Holsworth took to Facebook to share his story because he ‘did not want other officers to be subjected to the same embarrassing situation.” His post went viral on Sunday and has been shared more than 9,000 times.
The news sparked outrage on Olive Garden’s Facebook and Twitter pages and the company quickly responded saying that Olive Garden loves serving law enforcement and the incident was a misunderstanding.
Rich Jeffers, a spokesperson for Olive Garden, said this type of of treatment is “highly inconsistent” with the chain’s business values. He also reported that the company’s president, Dave George, apologized to Holsworth and said police officers are always welcome inside their restaurants.