The owners of a Georgia McDonald’s responded after a sheriff’s deputy posted a now-viral video to Facebook worrying that employees were tampering with her food, based on the allegedly long wait time for her meal. The restaurant owners have since claimed that the officer was never denied service, and have since apologized to the customer for the negative experience.
Deputy Stacy Talbert took to Facebook Live early on Monday morning to share her side of the story in a three-minute clip that has since been viewed over 9 million times, BuzzFeed News reports.
Talbert said that she mobile-ordered an English muffin meal with a coffee and hash browns from a Richmond Hill McDonald’s on her way home from work, and became increasingly concerned as she was left “waiting and waiting and waiting” in the drive-thru to receive her breakfast.
Eventually, an employee delivered only the coffee, Talbert said. Recounting the exchange through tears, the officer said she told the worker, “Don’t bother with the food because right now I’m too nervous to take it.”
“It doesn’t matter how many hours I’ve been up, it doesn’t matter what I’ve done for anyone, right now I’m too nervous to take a meal from McDonald’s because I can’t see it being made," Talbert exclaimed. "I don’t know what’s going on with people nowadays, but please, just give us a break!”
“I don’t know much more I can take. I’ve been in this for 15 years and I’ve never had such anxiety about waiting for McDonald's drive-thru food,” she continued. “If you see an officer say 'thank you' because I don't hear 'thank you' enough anymore.”
"Please share because no one should feel like this. Law enforcement or not, this is truly how we feel,” Talbert captioned the Facebook video, which has received tens of thousands of likes and shares. The clip has also been widely circulated – and criticized by some – on Twitter.
In a statement shared with Fox News, the owners of the McDonald’s that the officer visited apologized for the long wait, and said that they have since spoken with Talbert.
“Our priority is for all customers to feel welcome and enjoy a great customer experience in our family-owned restaurants, including local law enforcement officers who protect and serve our community,” owners Gary and Jill Stanberry said.
“Unfortunately, we were made aware of a local police officer who experienced a longer than usual wait time and did not receive her full order right away at one of our restaurants. We have been in contact with this officer to apologize for this unsatisfactory experience and let her know that we would love to correct the inaccurate order when she has time,” they continued. “We are happy to report that the officer was never denied service and also shared positive feedback on the employee with whom she interacted.”
“As a locally owned and operated business, we work hard every day to treat all of our employees and customers with dignity and respect,” the owners said. “We were also proud to be part of the more than 12 million free Thank You Meals McDonald’s provided health care workers and first responders across the country last month.”
A spokesperson for McDonald’s further emphasized that Talbert’s meal was not tampered with and the delay in receiving her order “was not intentional nor due to the fact that she is a police officer. “
The spokesperson added that the owners and the local restaurant manager reached out to Talbert “immediately” after learning of her unsatisfactory experience at the chain.
Also on Monday, three law enforcement officers with the New York Police Department were hospitalized after drinking milkshakes at a Manhattan Shake Shack that they said had an unfamiliar taste. It was later determined that there was "no criminality" after police investigated the scene.
Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.