Richlands, NC – A member of the Jones County Sheriff’s Office found his order had been personalized when he opened up his Bojangles’ Bo-Berry Biscuits on Monday night.
Instead of drizzling the frosting across the tops of the biscuits as usual, a Bojangles’ employee had left the law enforcement officer the message “FU” on top of one of his treats.
Jones County Sheriff’s Office First Sergeant Daniel Pridgen told Blue Lives Matter that he visited the Bojangles’ restaurant at about 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 28, but didn’t discover the employee’s insulting artwork until he arrived home ready to eat.
Sgt. Pridgen, who has been with the sheriff’s department for more than 10 years, said he’s been eating at the Bojangles’ located on Richlands Highway since it first opened and has never had a problem before this incident.
He said that on Monday evening, he started out in the drive-thru lane in his unmarked vehicle. But after he paid, they asked him to pull up because his whole order wasn’t ready.
Sgt. Pridgen told Blue Lives Matter that he waited outside for a while and then went into the restaurant – in uniform - to find out what was causing the delay and complain that the rest of his food was getting cold.
The employee who helped him was very nice about his concerns, and replaced some of the items in his order with fresh ones, he said.
It was the newer order of biscuits that carried the nasty “FU” message, according to Sgt. Pridgen.
After he finished dinner, the sergeant posted a picture of the offending berry biscuits and told his friends what happened.
“I am literally at a loss. How professional Bojangles! It took you 25 minutes to make my food, and as I stand there and wait patiently (in uniform) while my other food is getting cold, this is the thanks I get from the lovely staff of Bojangles in Richlands! Pure hatred, I appreciate it, unfortunately I didn’t notice until I got home to eat. #bojangles’ #itsbotime #tands,” Sgt. Pridgen posted on his personal Facebook page at about 7:25 p.m.
The post, with the picture of the hateful message, quickly went viral.
Sgt. Pridgen said that he received a phone call from the head manager of the Richlands Bojangles’ location within 30 minutes of posting about his biscuits.
It turns out that the Bojangles’ manager’s husband is also a member of law enforcement and she was not happy with the way her employees had treated the sheriff’s sergeant.
Sgt. Pridgen said that within an hour, he also got a phone call from a company vice president who assured him that he was working on it, too.
On Tuesday morning, Bojangles’ management called him again with an update, and said the employee who had written the message on his biscuit had already been fired, he told Blue Lives Matter.
So Sgt. Pridgen updated his Facebook post.
“The corporate people have made contact and are handling it. They were as mad as I was, and have been great in helping,” he wrote.
“From what I understand, they have a zero tolerance police for things like that,” Sgt. Pridgen told Blue Lives Matter. “They are pro-law enforcement.”
He said he believed the nasty message was an isolated incident and that he planned to continue eating at that Bojangles’.
“I will 100 percent return to that restaurant,” he said. “They handled it appropriately, so I have no issue with them.”
Blue Lives Matter reached out to Bojangles’ headquarters in Charlotte for comment and received a statement via email.
“We became aware of the incident that took place at our Richlands restaurant last evening and took immediate action,” Bojangles’ Spokeswoman Donna Rodwell wrote. “After contacting the customer directly and conducting a thorough investigation, the employee responsible was immediately terminated.”
“This type of behavior is not consistent with our values or our culture, and it will not be tolerated at any Tands restaurant. We apologize to anyone who was offended by the actions of this former employee,” the statement read.
Blue Lives Matter reached out to the Bojangles’ Richlands location for comment but no one answered the phone.