The CEO of Smashburger is apologizing after employees at the chain’s Southlands restaurant were reportedly disrespecting police officers Friday night.
According to community members and the Facebook group Brotherhood for the Fallen Aurora, staff at the burger joint were playing a derogatory song aimed at officers while they were dining at the establishment:
When 9NEWS spoke to the restaurant's manager on Saturday, they were referred to the company’s CEO Tom Ryan.
“We support the police and respect and admire them in all of the communities we serve,” Ryan said over the phone.
He explained that kitchen staff went outside of Smashburger’s policy, and played their own music on their iPods while the officers were eating there. He said it was unauthorized and should not have happened.
The incident is under investigation, and the shift manager who was working at the time has been placed on leave, according to the company.
Ryan apologized to the officers who were involved, and said it is a sad situation that he wishes didn't happen.
“This by no means reflects how Smashburger thinks of law enforcement,” he said, "This will not happen again."
Ryan recently took over as CEO after Michael Nolan stepped down less than eight months after taking the job.
The Denver-based fast-casual restaurant has more than 370 corporate and franchise locations operating in 34 states and seven countries.