Bessemer Sonic Drive-In Refuses Service To Cop; Corporate Excuse Stinks

A Bessemer Sonic Drive-In employee refused to serve a cop.

A Bessemer Sonic Drive-In employee refused to serve a cop.

Bessemer Sonic Drive-In Refuses Service To Cop; Corporate Excuse Stinks

Bessemer, Alabama – A Bessemer Sonic Drive-In worker refused service to an on-duty police officer, and now Sonic Drive-In’s company office has responded with a flimsy excuse.

The incident was reported in the officer’s Facebook post on Tuesday where he detailed what had happened at the Bessemer Sonic:

Never thought I would experience this. I tried to get a small ice cream at Sonic in Bessemer while I was on duty. When the girl making it saw me pull up to the window in a Police vehicle, she set my ice cream down and walked off and just ignored me being there. Then she brought food to people behind me in line still just ignoring me. Then after several minutes another employee asked her about my order. She just ignored him. He then finished putting ice cream in my cup. He tried to give it to her to bring to me and she refused to serve me. Unbelievable.

Reporters at ABC 33/40 conducted an investigation into the Facebook post. The Bessemer Sonic managers wouldn’t talk to the reporters, and sent them somewhere else. Finally the company’s communications manager got back to them with the following statement:

Thank you for contacting us about the drive-in in Bessemer, Ala. At SONIC, everyone is welcome and we especially appreciate the men and women police officers who keep our communities safe. Since learning of the allegation, the franchisee who owns and operates the drive-in began an immediate investigation and found that the drive-in was understaffed during this time. The franchisee has worked with the police officer and the chief of police to ensure this misunderstanding will not affect the positive relationship that this drive-in has with the community of Bessemer.

The company’s statement doesn’t match the officer’s account of events. Being short-staffed doesn’t explain why the person couldn’t take a couple of seconds to finish filling the ice cream cup that they had already started, and then hand it to the officer. Instead the employee started serving the people in line behind him at a drive-thru window. Keep in mind, the officer’s order involved partially filling a cup with ice-cream, not cooking an entire meal.

At Blue Lives Matter, it’s our general policy not to write about law enforcement being refused service until the company has a chance to respond. We don’t want anyone to lose business just because of one problem employee doing something that the owner wasn’t aware of. Ideally, the employer would acknowledge their employee’s wrongdoing, apologize, and take steps ensure that the situation won’t repeat itself in the future. The Bessemer Sonic Drive-In appears to have done none of these things.

Do you think that the company’s response was appropriate? Let us know on our Facebook page.

  • Jim Beam

    The companies response is appropriate enough for me to make me and my family stop going to Sonic here in New Jersey.

  • Doug Packer

    Disappointed in Sonic. They’ve lost my business

  • I AM DEPLORABLE ✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ

    FU Sonic!!! One of the best fast food places around, but I will never go there again. Some things are more important than a good hot dog.

    • Stephen

      Used to love their 1 ft long chili dogs, now they taste like crap. Nasty smoke flavor to them

  • Daniel Belote

    Won’t eat at any of them ever again

  • Ken Janulewicz

    There’s a Sonic in Ft. Mill, SC. It’s been closed for the 4 years I’ve lived here. Not hard for me to figure out why.

  • Linda Doug Plaisance

    we are done with them also

  • Tabludama

    Interesting that the race of the officer and the rude employee was omitted. Yet if a white cop shoots a black criminal the race of both is usually in the headline and is the focus of the story. Just another example of the Ferguson Effect.

    Obama’s race baiting has its consequences.

    • Captain Obvious ✓ᴰᵉᵖˡᵒʳᵃᵇˡᵉ

      And if a white person refused to serve a minority, all hell would break loose.

      • laughing tyger

        Or a gay person ….

    • gregzotta

      I would bet it was a white officer and a racist anti-cop black employee.

      • kasualobserver

        if it was, makes me wonder what she does to white people’s food.

        • David Whitmore

          getting to the point I will not eat any fast food anymore

        • AOchoaSerrano

          only white police, I assume.

      • Larry

        Bessemer is almost 70% black so your guess would be a very good one.

        • Guest

          Just made a trip through Alabama this summer and if the statistics weren’t written in several places I would have to say it is more like 90% black based on my personal observations.

    • Norm Ash

      I can pretty much guarantee that the employee at the restaurant was black because Bessemer is pretty much a ghetto area of Birmingham.

      • James Himes

        it didn’t used to be, that’s only happened over the last 15 years because it’s cheaper to live out there than in down town Birmingham

    • James Alexander

      Maybe an officer killed a loved one over a jay walking violation or for simply giving them an attitude. It’s pretty common these days I hope you know.

      • Matthew Hall

        It’s not as common as you seem to think, James. Unless you were being sarcastic.

      • Jeff Pierro

        Or maybe the jaywalker was actually walking towards the cops with a gun in his hand, pointing it at them. Lies happen WAY more often than “racist” cops shooting “unarmed” black men…..

    • My thoughts !!!

      I would hope that this was not a race issue but more of an ignorant adolescent just being stupid. Either way I know that I will never eat at a sonic again and will pass this along to everyone one of my brother and sister police officers, along with those fire fighters and friends too. It is time that is crap stops and the only way to make it know is to hurt them in their pockets.

      • Charlotte

        It doesn’t matter what color either one was. A person was refused service because they were a law enforcement officer. It was a political correctness issue! The person should have been fired on the spot and the officer been given free good for a long time as an apology. I sure hope they don’t get robbed or something and need police anytime soon!

  • Ken Andrews

    Lame excuse. I actually have never been to a Sonic….that may remain unchanged.

  • sNiPer

    Never stopped there and I never will.

  • Brian Smith

    Why was he going to a drive thru window in the first place? Every cop should know better not to do this. Lol

    • I AM DEPLORABLE ✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ

      At Sonic you drive up to menus that you can order from. Not a drive thru place, a drive-in place. But your point is valid. I would never do anything else but bring my lunch.

      • Rockman

        Many Sonics have a drive thru station where you can pick up call in orders or just order for larger vehicles like trucks that don’t want to pull into the smaller drive in spaces. Some are in front of the restaurant where staff can see the vehicle.

  • Kimberly A Swift

    Just sent corporate a copy of this article and let them know that if this is how they treat the police I’ll never visit ANY Sonic ever again

    • Charlotte

      Post an email address and we can bombard them with outrage! That’ll get some attention.

  • Steven Sutherland

    I think the company did what SOME(not all) cops do…cover up part of the story for the bad apples

    • DinoBeliver

      I agree. It would have been smart to say that Sonic apologizes for the incorrect treatment of the Officer, send some Ice Cream Coupons for the Department to use for Community Relations and say that the employee will be “retrained”.

  • DustyG

    I find it ironic. So many people today yelling “discrimination”. Well, I’m sorry this worker discriminated against the officer simply because he is an officer. She should be reprimanded and given another chance or fired. Your job is to serve food to the public. ALL of the public, not just who you pick & choose. She was refusing to do her JOB. If people refuse to do their job, usually they’re fired for it.

  • Roger Culver

    They love us here in Shreveport, LA. Sad that people have to be this way. She should be fired.

  • jsha1

    First off, it was a franchise store and not a company store. Any info, (true or not), the corporate office had was supplied by the franchise owner. Any retribution taken on other Sonics other than that specific location mainly hurts your local franchisee. But it’s a free country eat where you like.

    • damadtech

      As long as they operate under the name Sonic and pay for that right, the corporate office owes it to them to protect their interest. If corporate can’t control it’s image and the the franchisee employee conduct, then changes need to be made on their end. If they get the message the consumers will not tolerate that type of service to police officers, they will also stop the lame excuses and trying to wash their hands of such important matters.

    • LeAnda Carver Latstetter

      Isn’t that what this Sonic employee is doing? Lumping all cops with the minute % of bad cops? The sad part is, if the worker (I use the term loosely) ever needs help the cop would be there, in a minute.

    • Dave Notarianni

      Franchise or corporate who cares? Just like all gun owners are considered bad so are all Sonics.

  • Lance Kilkenny

    Don’t ask the corporate headquarters. bluelivesmatter should speak directly to the local franchise owner.

  • Dave Zavistoski

    Im getting frigging sick of these assclowns not giving the respect to the police. Even if you don’t like the police it’s your job so just do it. She should be fired! !! Did it say if she was black or white girl ? I’ll assume she was black but you know what they say about assumptions.

    • Captain Obvious ✓ᴰᵉᵖˡᵒʳᵃᵇˡᵉ

      Every time I’m out to eat or picking up takeout, if I see an officer I pay for their meal. Sometimes I do it without even letting them know. It is the least I can do.

    • aksopp

      She was most likely black. That town is about 75 to 80 per cent black now. It wasn’t like that when I was a kid. It was a nice little suburb of Bham. Now it is all run down and almost nothing is left.

  • Robert Rivers

    Add Sonic to the list of places that don’t get my service.. How a business owner allows his employees to disrespect any customer defies my imagination but if they can get away with not serving a police officer there is no reason not to believe they wouldn’t spit in your food if you were’t someone that they respected..

  • AL Cutino

    They just lost the business of this black Police Officer and his family !!!

  • xnavygunner

    Bye bye Sonic. 5 Guys is better.

  • cat

    The employee is just a bigot and prejudiced. Needs to find a hole to work in and not around the public.

  • Jack Reilly

    Was the employee BLACK and the Officer WHITE, I guessing I hit the nail right on the head…..Nlue Lives Matter is called RACIST, and yet Black Lives Matter, is NOT….I for one, do not see why.

  • Betty Hixenbaugh

    The need to fire this little bitch and be done with this bullshit!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jack Reilly

    MISUNDERSTANDING – My Ass…..I’m done with Sonic, period…..their excuse really sucks…..morons.

  • Ronald Warner Sr

    How would Sonic staff like it if the police used the excuse that they were understaffed and ignored responding to a hold up alarm at one of your restaurants? What a lame excuse. Shame on Sonic for not taking responsibility for the inappropriate actions of an employee who decided to ignore a police officer trying to place an order. Law abiding citizens should let you know how they feel by taking their business elsewhere.

  • Denise Carlisle

    She should be fired..its her job to serve the public…and she refused to do it…so yes demand a firing

  • Hey Sonic, this isn’t the best way to have cops respond to a burglary or fire alarm at your store. The cops and firemen might just get lost or forget.

  • John Baker

    No more sonic for me… Flimsy excuse.

  • George Chandler

    You can’t blame Sonic corporate for the employee of the franchise. But, the franchise owner needs to take a stand. An apology at least……in the paper, large, bold print.

  • Eleanor Maloney

    Maybe the police should just drive really slow the next time that Sonic needs them.

  • Curtis

    I’d bet five bucks that the meeting with the officer and chief did not go as stated, else the officers would be in on that statement expressing satisfaction with the outcome.

    It was more like “She says she served you properly, and it wasn’t like that.”

    “It was like that.”

    “Well, it’s one person’s word against the other, so she stays.”

    “That’s cool, we won’t go there any more, we don’t want spit in our food.”

    Who says everything is okay? Not the cops….

  • Jessie Smith

    That excuse should be sacked and sold in a garden department somewhere, because a 10 year old would know that it is pure bull!. Sonic many just have lost my business, ANYWHERE!

  • Lisa Schneider

    When I was a teenager (I’m only 31 now) I worked a few fast food jobs and ALWAYS on duty officers had their meals free. I’m horrified to hear of all these places that *depend* on the protection of law enforcement being so disrespectful.

  • troye68

    I just posted a “confession” on the Bessemer Police Department’s page to having purchased Marijuana at that Sonic Drive-Thru location from multiple employees. If they play their cards right, they can hit ’em when they’re really busy with Monday lunch. Maybe they can give the Health Department a heads-up. Wouldn’t it suck if there was a dog in the kitchen when the Heath Inspector showed up? I don’t think they can risk the public’s heath just because the dog just happened to be a Narcotics K-9.

    Funny how when a bakery run by religious lunatics refuses to bake a wedding-cake for a same-sex couple, the Right Wing applauds the proprietors’ “Christian Values” while the Left Wing, rightly so, condemns blatant Jim Crow-style discrimination. But you can’t have your wedding-cake and eat it, too. When it’s a Police Officer being refused service, it’s the Right Wing’s turn to protest in favor of the customer, while the Left Wing dances around their Che Guevara posters listening to Rage Against The Machine.

    Maybe the lesson here is…AMERICA, where we treat EVERYBODY with common decency and basic courtesy. Last time I checked, ISIS wants us ALL dead. So to hell with Religious Bigotry and the Communist Utopia.

    Grow the hell up, people.

  • Ljubica48

    This video should be shared every time there is an incident like this. And Heather MacDonald’s book, “The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe” should be mandatory reading in every school in America to counter the urban myths of the BLM anarchist narrative.

  • Terry

    Sonic has the right to refuse service to anyone, and we have a right and now a duty to not buy, eat or drink their products. Their business alignment is a consumer based business and therefore the customers have the power to shut them down via boycott

  • Mike

    The service at Sonic has been going down hill for years while the quality of the food has deteriorated. I rarely eat there now and I liked their onion rings. As for this incident everyone is assuming it was a white cop and a black server. It could have just as easily been a black cop and the person doesn’t like cops in general.

  • CarolinaCries

    Here’s the response I got from emailing Sonic’s Corporate office:

    Sonic Drive In

    Trey Finlay ( Add to contacts 5:16 PM Keep this message at the top of your inbox

    To: Hartnsc

    I trust Always show content.

    Ms. Hart,

    Thank you for contacting us about our drive-in in Bessemer, Ala. At SONIC, everyone is welcome and we especially appreciate the men and women police officers who keep our communities safe.
    We realize that the Crew member made a mistake in the order of taking her other food orders out but in no way had any intentional actions to show any disrespect to the Officer. We have spoken to the Officer and offered an apology and he was very receptive to our call. We are also conducting some re-training of some simple practices that we missed when serving him which would have avoided this problem.

    We value all Police officers as we always have and do offer Police discounts from time to time to show our appreciation for their service to our community


    Trey Finlay

    Drive In of Evansville

    Area Supervisor – Birmingham South

    © 2016 Microsoft Terms Privacy & cookies Developers English (United States)

    Not much better than he got.

    • I AM DEPLORABLE ✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ

      Canned corporate answer that is not going to change my mind about Sonic.

    • Jeff Pierro

      So that’s their story, and they’re sticking to it. Good,…they can stick their crappy food somewhere, too. Thanks for sharing their lame reply. I think I’ll join the “bombard them with emails” movement…

  • msmaddog

    Imagine what she’s doing to other customers food she is preparing. Have a nice meal. Lately it should be very concerning to anyone how your food is treated!

  • Matthew Hall

    This is why I eat at Chick-fil-a. They not only have a high respect for everyone, no matter your race, gender, or profession, our men and women in blue get a near 50% discount off their food.

  • Jeff Pierro

    Funny how it’s “racist” to say “the SUSPECT is black”,….but not the “victim”. I really hope that “employee” gets attacked by another of her color (whatever that “may” be), in the parking lot after work one night, …and the cop she disrespected is the one who responds.

  • Christy Tidwell Ferguson

    Since the race of either the cop or the female isn’t in the story, maybe there is something totally different behind this. Maybe they used to date and it ended badly and she refused to serve him for that reason. Could be a number if reasons instead of him just being a cop. If anyone has ever worked with the public then you know how it is when you have someone come in you have a problem with and get someone else to serve them

  • GestapoKitteh

    “The company’s statement doesn’t match the officer’s account of events. ”

    Funny, that seems to be going around lately. Especially with bodycam and dashcam footage…