Taking Heat

Waitress Fired for ‘Threatening’ Customers Who Left Dog in Hot Car

Woof. Photo: Mike Mozart/CC/Flickr

LongHorn Steakhouse, one of Olive Garden’s siblings within the the Darden Restaurants empire, fired a New Jersey waitress for chewing out a couple that ate while their dog sat in the car. Cristal Perez says the duo had an hour-long meal last Tuesday, a day when the heat index hit 90 degrees. According to her, multiple people noticed the pup — described only as “cute, small, brown, black, and white” — panting heavily, almost like it “was having an anxiety attack.” Perez admits she informed the couple that locking dogs in cars is “wrong,” and then, after overhearing diners say they were calling police, told the woman she was “lucky to be leaving before the cops came.” But the woman did not leave before complaining to managers, who suspended Perez for four days, then fired her on her first day back this week.

In a statement, LongHorn said the restaurant looked into the situation, and found it was NBD — the dog “was never in any danger” because the AC was going, a theory animal-rights groups vehemently contest, and that, regardless, Perez’s termination “had nothing to do with her concern for the dog, which our management team confirmed was unfounded. She was terminated for mistreating our guests.” Apparently, this constitutes as “threatening behavior.”

[Press of Atlantic City]

Waitress Fired for ‘Threatening’ Customers Who Left Dog in Hot Car