Here’s one way to ensure your restaurant’s reputation takes an instant nosedive: ban cops from eating there. Lucky Teriyaki in Sedro-Woolley, Washington found that out the hard way this week; according to the Associated Press, Skagit County sheriff Will Reichardt took to the department's Facebook page to express his shock after the owner reportedly told two of his officers not to dine there anymore.
In the post, Reichardt claims the deputies were informed "other customers didn’t like law enforcement there," and that the restaurant requested they spread the word to their fellow officers:
It should come as a surprise to precisely no one that the social media backlash from the community was swift and severe: Lucky Teriyaki's Yelp rating has plummeted to one star as people from all over the country have swarmed the page with hundreds of negative reviews.
"Have never eaten here, nor will I. I won't support any place with this attitude. And for their customers who complained, don't call the police when you're victimized whining for help," one Yelp user from California writes.
Another Yelper from Ohio says, "Would not eat here even if starving for 10 days and the only alternative was bear leavings directly from the bear. Owner is a miscreant who deserves to go out of business." Other Yelp reviewers are responding by uploading racist memes to Lucky Teriyaki's photo collection.
Its Facebook page has been overtaken with one-star ratings, too — more than 2,000 of them. "Who you gonna call when you get robbed? Ghostbusters?" one local resident writes. "Shame on you for treating law enforcement that way. They protect the community you live in. I refuse to patronize any business that perpetuates hatred."
Now, according to local news affiliate Fox Q13, the restaurant's owner is apologizing and chalking it up to a misunderstanding caused by a language barrier. The man broke down in tears on camera and is now offering free food to all law enforcement on Monday — but it seems unlikely the local community will be forgetting this incident anytime soon.
It's not the first alleged incident of anti-cop sentiment surfacing at restaurants in recent days: Two deputies in North Carolina claim they were taunted by workers at a Zaxby's restaurant who then tampered with their food, dousing it in hot sauce to the point of making it inedible.
Update: Following a conversation with ownership, Reichardt posted another statement on Facebook acknowledging the miscommunication.
• Sheriff: Deputies Asked Not to Dine at Restaurant [AP]
• Restaurant Owner Says It’s All a Misunderstanding, Cops Can Eat at His Place — And for Free Monday [Fox Q13]
• Zaxby's Workers Allegedly Harassed Cops With Extra-Spicy Wings [E]
• Uniformed Police Officer Says He Was Denied Service at Krystal [E]