Glenolden, PA – A pro-police restaurant's grand opening got a hostile response from police supporters due to improper punctuation on their menu.
The 10 percent discount they offer to schools, churches, hospitals, military, and police on the front of their menus appeared to many to exclude police.
“It was just a big error in the printing,” the owner said. “Why would I ever put something like that on the front of my menu? I would have to be an idiot. It would be business suicide!”
Tzitzikas said he was in such a rush to get his latest cheesesteak restaurant, open that he didn’t double check the menus when they arrived from Inter Globe Printing.
He said he never noticed the transposed word error and missing comma on the front which read that there was a 10 percent discount for schools, churches, hospitals, and military — but "police" was on the line with "at regular price."
The menu was supposed to communicate that the 10% discount for all only applied to regular-priced items.
Tzitzikas, who has previously owned several other similar restaurants in the region including one located next door to his new one, had a big “We Support Our Police” sign in the storefront window when the misprinted menus were placed on the counter and the mistake was shared on social media.
The business owner said that after he became aware of the error, he went straight to the Glenolden Police Station to make sure they knew it was a typo, the Delco Daily Times reported. He said he’d already served several officers of the Glenolden PD on opening day.
“I’m sure it had to be a typo,” said Glenolden Police Chief Jay Kelly told the Delco Daily Times. The chief said he remembered Tzitzikas from when he operated his Kansas Steaks restaurant in the community.
“He was always friendly to the community. As soon as I heard about this, I thought it had to be a misprint because the owner was always welcoming to our guys,” Chief Kelly said.
Tzitzikas said he received many nasty phone calls where he got a “tongue lashing” the moment he answered the phone.
He said the worst part of the debacle was the fact that many people didn’t give him the benefit of the doubt, or an opportunity to explain, before they exploded. It bothered him that people wouldn’t first assume that this had to be an error.
“I just give the discount automatically for the police. I have family members and friends who are in law enforcement. I’ve always supported the police. I have given police officers a discount at every business that I ever owned,” Tzitzikas said. “Why would anyone in their right mind exclude police officers? They are the first ones we turn to when there is any kind of issue or problem.”
He said that they made a temporary fix to the menus with a black marker, but that he immediately ordered corrected replacements.
On the bright side, Tzitzikas said the number of livid citizens showed how much support local police had within their community.
“One good thing that came out of all this, is that we saw how many people strongly support and love our police officers like us. It is heartwarming to know that our policemen and women are honored and appreciated,” Kyong Tzitzikas told the Delco Daily Times.
Despite the social media firestorm, the owner of the new restaurant said the publicity from the mistake had resulted in numerous citizens getting in touch to ask if they were the same people who had owned his various prior restaurants, because they loved the food and were happy to see them back.
“People were calling me to say, ‘Is this the same owner as Texas Steaks? Do you still make the same Texas Fries and Texas Steaks?’” Tzitzikas said. “These are the menu items that we’ve always been known for having. I tell everyone to just come in and give us a try. We have the same good food and friendly service as I’ve always offered in my restaurants.”