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09-04-06, 11:47 AM #1
Texas Roadhouse Makes Police Sick
TEXAS ROADHOUSE MAKES POLICE SICK
A "How to Do It Completely Wrong" Crisis Case Study
By Jonathan Bernstein
In May 2006, Fairfax, VA Police Detective Vicki Armel and Master
Police Officer Michael Garbarino became the departments' first two
officers killed on duty. They were gunned down by an assault
weapon-wielding madman who was subsequently shot by police. There
was, of course, the expected shock and mourning by their fellow
officers and citizens of the communities they served. Officer
Garbarino lingered near death in the hospital for almost two
weeks, resulting in two separate funeral processions and
However, there was another, much lesser, but still sickening shock
to come the following month, behavior which reflects the very
worst of corporate communications.
In mid-June, the department's False Alarm Reduction Unit received
a letter from their local Texas Roadhouse restaurant, which is
located just down from the station, appealing a number of false
alarm fines. The restaurant had tripped numerous false alarms,
apparently as a result of wiring issues and problems with their
alarm company. All of these problems and accumulated fines
occurred prior to the date of the police shootings. FYI, Texas
Roadhouse ( www.texasroadhouse.com) is a
national chain that boasts
about their "Legendary Food, Legendary Service(r)". What does this
have to do with the shootings? Read on.
In asking for the a waiver of the fines, the unbelievably
insensitive letter pointed out that the restaurant had lost over
$5,000 in sales the night of the shooting and $4,000 in sales
during each funeral procession in the two weeks that followed.
Police sources found this very hard to believe, as the
intersection by the restaurant was closed for only about an hour
during each funeral procession, and in the middle of the
afternoon, not during the lunch or dinner rush.
The letter went on to say that the restaurant had taken some food
to the shooting incident command post and also noted that they
give officers a discount when they eat in the restaurant
(something many officers deny). The letter informed the
department of the "major financial impact" the funeral events
allegedly had on their store, asking for a re-examination of the
false alarm fines based on those "facts."
A senior police official contacted the corporate office for Texas
Roadhouse in Kentucky and relayed her concern. She
emphasized that at the same time OTHER local businesses were
holding fund raisers for the fallen officers, their local
restaurant was looking to use the incident as an excuse not to pay
their fines. Although each store is individually owned, the
corporate office appeared very concerned and asked that the letter
be faxed to them, which it was, and the police official was told
that "someone would be in touch."
A week passed. A call came in to the police official from Texas
Roadhouse's managing partner for the State of Virginia, who was
going out of town for three days, but would "contact her when he
Three weeks passed. The persistent police official contacted the
corporate office yet again. Instead of escalating this to a
senior corporate officer at this point, as they should have, they
had Roadhouse's managing partner for Virginia call again to
apologize on the restaurant's behalf.
The owner of the local store, who wrote the letter, never
contacted the department to express his regrets in any way.
Your author has a "Deep Cop" contact who passed this information
on to him, including this message sent by a police officer to Texas
Roadhouse via the contact page on their website, at
It has come to my attention that I owe your establishment an
apology. I am an officer with Fairfax County. Earlier this
year, I had the unfortunate experience of listening as two
of my co-workers died of gunshot wounds near your restaurant.
The ensuing investigation, regrettably, blocked (from your
account) thousands of dollars worth of hungry citizens from
eating that night. I compounded this problem by participating
in a funeral procession, not once but TWICE, for my co-workers
and again blocked thousands of dollars worth of business from
you. I humbly apologize for such egregious actions on my part
and will endeavor to, in the future and to what extent I can,
not allow petty police actions from interrupting your business.
I have asked all my co-workers to heed this and next time pick
a more commercially advantageous spot to be ambushed and killed.
If anything, I have requested that they all die at once, such
that multiple funeral processions will not be necessary. In an
effort to make sure that I am effective in my efforts, I have
barred myself, and all those I can influence from entering or
even parking in your establishment. This way I can be sure that
my presence will not have the same selfish and undesired affect.
If there is anything else that I can do to make sure your
establishment has a banner year, please feel free to contact me.
I will forward this message to all concerned parties.
I am told that his sentiment is shared by most, if not all members
of the department.
Oh yes, and the False Alarm Unit was told to instruct the
restaurant to pay their fines.
Horrible letter. Slow and grossly inadequate corporate response.
Maybe they should modify their slogan to "Legendary Food,
Legendary Service, Legendary Insensitivity"?
Patrick A. Richards
09-04-06, 11:53 AM #2
That is an outstanding response to the restaurant.
Has the corporate office EVER provided a proper apology? Would it help to boycott their other restaurants thoughtout the country to prove a point since they are individually owned?September 11, 2001 - All gave some, some gave all. Never forget -- Never forgive.......... RIP Brothers and Sisters.
09-04-06, 12:19 PM #3
I stand-up and applaud that. I'm glad to see it got to the media, and I love the letter written by the officer to the manager/owner. Even though each one is idividually owned I still won't ever eat at another one again. I feel the corporate office and local office didn't do near enough in that situation."An Unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper
Some people are meant to be the police......Some people are meant to call the police!!!
"Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they don't need it and hell where they already have it."
" I believe that forgiving them (Terrorist) is God's function. OUR job is to arrange the meeting."
General Norman Schwartzkopf
Not all Muslims are Terrorists, but all Terrorists are Muslim.
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09-04-06, 01:28 PM #4
what is wrong with people. i do not think i will be partaken of there wares anymore. the corporate office needs to be forthcoming with an apology quickly. please keep us updated. my heart goes out to the families.
"A strong man stands up for himself. A stronger man stands up for others."
The old sheriff was attending an awards dinner when a lady commented
on his wearing his sidearm. "Sheriff, I see you have your pistol. Are you
expecting trouble?" "No Ma'am. If I were expecting trouble, I would have
brought my rifle."
(just stole this one hope you don't mind)
09-04-06, 01:33 PM #5
Haha - this article made Google Finance!!!
Last edited by TXCharlie; 09-04-06 at 01:37 PM.
(='.'=) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
(")_(") signature to help him gain world domination.
09-04-06, 02:07 PM #6
There's a copy of the letter sent by the "official" in this post.Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.
Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
or otherwise distort statements of fact.FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley
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