Whataburger Explains Why Manager Called Police About Customer With Service Dog

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Earlier today, we told you about a Whataburger restaurant in Florida that called the police to force a customer to leave because of complaints about her service dog. Now, a rep for the fast food chain gives the company’s side of the story.

In a statement to Consumerist, Whataburger’s Director of Operations asserts that his company accommodates customers with service animals “all the time,” and that this woman and her friends did receive service on the night in question.

“After the customer finished her meal and had been at our restaurant for more than two and a half hours, we continued to receive complaints from other Whataburger customers regarding the dog’s odor,” he explains. “Some even asked for refunds, which we accommodated. At that point it became a customer service issue and interfered with restaurant operations.”

As for why the police were contacted, Whataburger says the manager was “uncomfortable approaching the customer, so the police were called to assist in asking this customer to leave. We would have preferred that the manager approached this customer directly, rather than calling the police, and we apologize for handling the situation in this manner.”

He says the company is actively working to retrain our employees at all restaurants on the appropriate way to accommodate guests with service animals “while also managing any concerns from other Whataburger customers.”

If the customers in the video wish to contact us to provide more on their side of the story, please contact us at tips@consumerist.com.

For those who missed it, here’s the video of the incident:

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