Cheesecake Factory apologizes after turning away officers
TACOMA, Wash. – What began Tuesday as a work lunch to exchange Christmas gifts ended with a group of Washington State Corrections Officers being asked to leave The Cheesecake Factory at Tacoma Mall.
Officer Miriam Nichols was one of several who said they were about to be seated when two employees approached the group and explained the problem.
“Two people in suits…who we later found out were management were talking to my three co-workers,” explained Nichols. “Saying that we had to leave because we were armed in their building.”
Nichols said management was polite, but made it clear, if anyone had a gun they had to go.
Due to potential theft, Nichols said she rarely, if ever disarms during her shift. With few options, she and her co-workers left the restaurant to find another where there wouldn’t be a problem.
“They [management] kept apologizing saying it’s policy, it’s policy, we’re sorry but we have to ask you to leave,” said Nichols.
The incident prompted both Miriam and KOMO News to reach out to Cheesecake Factory Corporate Headquarters, who released a statement Wednesday, stressing a misunderstanding: “Our policy is to allow uniformed and identified law enforcement officials to possess their service weapons on our premises. To the extent that there was a miscommunication of our policy, we sincerely apologize.”
“I can say I’ve never had that type of reaction before so it does lead me to believe it was a misunderstanding,” Nichols admitted.
The Corrections Department in Pierce County said they were contacted personally by Cheesecake Factory Corporate, who said a manager was simply misinformed.