Southside Flying Pizza fires employee who wrote anti-police receipt
A restaurant in East Austin is facing backlash after an employee wrote a derogatory anti-police sentiment on an officer's receipt.
An Austin police officer said he visited Southside Flying Pizza on East Cesar Chavez Saturday night and was surprised by the anti-police attitude of an employee there. The district manager of Southside seemed just as shocked.
“That's where we hang our hat is customer service and quality of food, but even more so with the police officers that work in our community,” said David Hatley, district manager of Southside Flying Pizza.
The officer posted on Facebook saying he was not only treated poorly, but when he checked his receipt it said "pig" along with some curse words. After hearing about the incident, restaurant managers said they reacted quickly to correct it.
“Obviously we're deeply appalled by the incident and that employee has been let go. We've also already donated a combined $1,000 to a police memorial fund,” Hatley said.
Ken Casaday, president of the Austin Police Association, said the business' management has gone above and beyond to address the issue.
“This is one bad incident that I think they definitely deserve to be forgiven for. Of all people that should know this is police officers,” said Casaday.
Just as all police shouldn't be judged by the actions of one bad cop, Casaday said he hopes people won't judge Southside Flying Pizza because of one bad employee, but he said anti-police rhetoric has been more common in recent years.
“I think it's becoming more common now. We see more people that act like that towards us, but we're also seeing, on the other side, it's very unlikely for me to walk into a restaurant in Austin and not have someone pay for my food,” Casaday said.
While one employee doesn't speak for the business, it's hard for police to forget the words directed at that officer.
“It is very insulting. It's something you have to worry about when you eat out as much as we do because we work ten hours a day, four days a week, so we have to kind of pick and choose the places that you trust to eat,” said Casaday.
Southside managers said they understand that struggle and they would like to apologize to the officer involved.
“I recognize the risk they take every day when they're out here and I don't think that's respected and appreciated enough by some people, and, yeah, if I had that opportunity, more so than on camera, I'd like to do it in person,” said Hatley.
Since the picture of that receipt was posted on Facebook, Southside Flying Pizza said they have received several death threats by phone and email.
Austin police said they will visit the Cesar Chavez location Monday at noon to show the business that they still support them.