Letter gives Taco Casa owner’s response to alleged incident – News – Austin American-Statesman

Regarding the Alleged Incident Involving a Military Veteran at Taco Casa in Early, Texas, That is circulating on Facebook:

Thank you so much for inquiring about the alleged incident that is circulating on Facebook. I completely understand you being outraged with the information you have read. Under normal circumstances, If it proved out to be true, Iwould completely agree and be furious also.

It is alleged that while one of our managers “Thanked the Veteran for his service” another of our employees made a very derogatory and hateful statement directed at the veteran.

I have spoken with the military veteran and his daughter, thanked him for his service to our country, expressed myconcern to them and told them I would immediately terminate any Employee that is disrespectful to anyone in that manner or any similar manner, especially members of our great military and law enforcement. I told them I would investigate each Employee, as well as, review our video surveillance footage to see what happened and immediately take the appropriate action. This type of incident is a first time firing offense for us.

My family and I built and opened the store over seven years ago and are personally involved with the day to day operations. Our goal has always been to provide a family friendly environment with good food at a reasonable pricewhile giving back to our community. Having been part of a very large family with many military veterans and lawenforcement, we have always honored and supported our military and police since the opening of the store seven years ago. When we opened the store we began offering discounts to members of the military with military I.D. and police officers in uniform. We periodically advertise that we support both. My father and father-in-law are both veterans and we spend a good bit of time at the VA hospital in Grande Prairie, Texas for procedures. I had five close uncles that served in Vietnam. So as you can imagine, we personally appreciate and hold these institutions very dearly. We have met many of you throughout the years, and anyone who knows us, knows we don’t tolerate any employee that disrespects one of our customers and especially our Military or Police. We have worked very hard to have and are blessed with a trustworthy, honorable group of employees that meet our high standards. Two of our managers have been with us since we started and many other employees have been with us for several years. At the same time we also have turnover of staff employees like any other business. Some don’t want to meet our standards and some we don’t think are a fit, so it’s always possible that someone could step way out of line. At which point we would automatically terminate them and try to make it right to anyone affected by an incident. We really do try to treat people fair and do the right thing, as things come along. However, we have never had an accusation such as this one.

After speaking with the veteran and the daughter, we interviewed all employees that were present during thealleged incident, as well as, thoroughly examined each of the video surveillance cameras to see all the angles and observed the one minute the Veteran was at our drive thru window. During that time, the window was opened for 31 seconds. During those 31 seconds, one of our main managers was working the Drive Thru and directly engaged with the veteran for a total of 6-7 seconds, of which time he was also looking at his computer screen and reading the order back to the veteran and then taking his money and returning his change from a $10.00 bill. There was also one employee in the kitchen working the complete serving line by herself with her back turned to the Drive Thru window.

To make the orders correctly, she is focusing on the monitors mounted above the serving line with the detailed instructions as to how the customer wants the order made. This serving line is approximately 15’ long. She has to start at one end to build the order moving along the line to complete and package the order at the other end. She is making all of the orders for the Drive Thru, as well as, the Dining Room. To make all of these orders correctly, one must focus on the monitors above as they work their way down the line. She is never observed turning or paying any attention to the Drive Thru window or the Veteran outside in his vehicle.

The manager working the window has been employed by us for a total of 4 years and 2 months. The employee working the line has been employed with us for 4 years and 6 weeks. Neither of these employees have ever been written up for any issues. They have both been model Employees. Neither of them did anything out of the normal during the full minute the Veteran was at the window. There was nothing out of the normal during the time the veteran pulled up to the window or after he drove away exactly one minute later. There is absolutely NO evidence showing there was any sort of issue with the Veteran or these Employees during the one minute time frame. All other employees are seen on video working in other areas of the store.

I called the Daughter on Saturday, August 15 after interviewing the employees and reviewing the video and told her everything I found. I told her I could not find any evidence supporting the idea there was any sort of issue while her father was at the store. I told her I would wait for her and asked if she could come to the store and we would look at the video surveillance together for as long as she wanted to and see if she observed anything that I was missing. She told me she had other plans for the rest of the day. During the 29 minute phone conversation, I asked her 7 times to come view the video so she didn’t have to take my word for it. She did not want to come to the store. I told her under the circumstances, I found no reason to take any action against our Employees since the video shows no issues during the time frame her Father was there. It would not be fair to terminate anyone when the statements from all the employees working at the time were either that they never heard anything like that or they were in another area of the store to far away to hear anything. After these developments, I asked her to please take the Facebook post down and issue some sort of explanation because we are being flooded with emails and phone calls of people who think we would allow such a thing to happen and assume we must be anti-veteran while in fact we are very pro-veteran and always have been. Many of these contacts express they will never come to our store again, many will never go to any Taco Casa again and some even make threats to retaliate against us, one with violence. So many have left messages stating this information on our store phone system with their phone number blocked. I have no way to contact them to even let them know there is more to the story. None of this seemed to matter to her. I told her I had been regularly speaking with the owner of Taco Casa Corporate and that he was very concerned about whether the alleged incident happened or not. After fully investigating and finding no support of any type of incident, he told me the post needs to come down and an apology needs to be made. I told her if she does not take the post down and the fallout continues there would be no choice but to get legal involved. She told me she would take the post down, but was not responsible for what others did. I still told her I did not have any ill will against her or her father and my earlier conversation with him reminded me of my Uncles. I told her I had nothing but respect for her father and would not want to cause him any grief, for any reason. I offered a free meal on us the next time her father was in town if he would like to come by. Both the veteran and daughter are always welcome at our store.

After this conversation, as far as we can tell, the daughter has still not made a statement on Facebook that this was even possibly a misunderstanding or that it possibly may have never happened at all. So, the fallout continues and people continue to spread the half-truths and innuendos that have been posted on Facebook, all of which the daughter had no first-hand knowledge of the alleged incident and was even corrected by her mother on Facebook as to the story.

I hope this is helpful and sheds a little more light to questions you may have. Please feel free to share the other side of the story with your friends and family. I hope we can be of service to you and your family in the future. We enjoy serving the community and will endeavor to do our best. Please feel free to directly email me if I can help at

[email protected]

Thank you for inquiring.

Ron Davis, Taco Casa, Early, Texas

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