Smyrna, GA - We broke the story on Wednesday about a Krispy Kreme employee serving a police officer a Black Lives Matter box. The company has now responded, and it's not good.
Smyrna Police Department gave us this account of the event:
On January 11, 2017, a Smyrna Police Officer on duty stopped at the Krispy Kreme store on South Cobb near East West Connector to purchase food. Upon receiving the order, the term "Black Lives Matter" was hand written on one of the packages. Immediately after the incident, the Smyrna Police Department met with store management and made them aware of the incident.
Here is the box that was given to the police officer:
We detailed exactly why this is offensive to law enforcement in our original story.
At the time of our initial story, we contacted Krispy Kreme and they would only say that they were taking care of it. Krispy Kreme has now issued this response:
After we were notified yesterday that an officer from the Smyrna Police Department (GA,US) received a box of doughnuts that had writing on it from one of our shops, we moved quickly to investigate the matter and take appropriate action. As a company, we value both our customers and employees and respect all viewpoints. The experience did not live up to these high standards we set for ourselves. We have offered our sincere apologies to the Smyrna Police Department and addressed the matter at the shop. Furthermore, we will use this opportunity to train the staff at all of our US shops to reinforce mutual respect between employees and customers. We will continue to take any and all steps to uphold our company standard welcoming all guests to the joy that Krispy Kreme Doughnuts aspires to every day. As a matter of policy and consistent with our practice, we do not comment on individual personnel matters.
We believe that Krispy Kreme's response is disgraceful.
We have dealt with quite a few stories of law enforcement officers being denied service or being disrespected by employees at various restaurants and businesses. Quite a few businesses make it clear that they support police, and they handle the discipline or termination of the problem employee immediately. However, Krispy Kreme danced around the issue. In an apparent attempt to avoid offending Black Lives Matter, they did not acknowledge any support for law enforcement, and they did not really acknowledge what the employee had done wrong. They could not bring themselves to say anything that might imply that it was wrong to write "Black Lives Matter." Rather than acknowledging that the employee was disrespectful to law enforcement, they appear to only say that the employee didn't respect the officer's "viewpoint."
Their solution is to offer employee training to "reinforce mutual respect." Offering your employees training to protect profits by not harassing paying customers is meaningless to anybody besides shareholders. Voicing support for the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect the communities that your business operates in would have meant a whole lot more.
The Smyrna Police Department acknowledged receipt of Krispy Kreme's apology:
On January 12, 2017, the Chief of Police received written correspondence from Corporate Representative, Mike Tattersfield, of Krispy Kreme. This letter states, "On behalf of all of us at Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation, we sincerely apologize for the incident." The letter further states, "We immediately initiated a thorough investigation internally...We have now addressed this matter directly with our staff at the shop and are taking appropriate action...Furthermore we will use this opportunity to train the staff at all of our US locations to reinforce proper respect for all our customers."
While it is clear this behavior was egregious in nature, Krispy Kreme did take responsibility for the incident, investigated it, and notified the Smyrna Police Department that action was being taken. It is the policy of Krispy Kreme not to disclose the specific actions taken on disciplinary investigations.
While we appreciate that an apology was made to the police department, after this incident we would expect Krispy Kreme to at least publicly voice support for law enforcement. Unfortunately, they appear too afraid of offending the anti-police crowd to do so, or maybe they don't actually support law enforcement.
Do you think that Krispy Kreme's response was good enough? Let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments below.