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Corporate revokes Twin Peaks Waco license, franchisee disputes police account of shooting

Twin Peaks corporate has released a statement saying they have revoked the franchise agreement for the Waco Twin Peaks following Sunday's deadly shooting.

The owners of the Waco Twin Peaks restaurant where nine people were killed Sunday released a statement late Monday afternoon defending themselves from criticism and contradicting a police account of what happened in that shooting.

Statement from Twin Peaks Waco franchisee:

"We are working hard to learn the facts about the violence that occurred outside our Waco restaurant yesterday, and that process has just begun. We are horrified by this violence and express our deepest sympathy to all those impacted by it.

It is important to clarify that, to the best of our knowledge, law enforcement officials did not ask either the Waco restaurant operator (with whom they spoke several times) or the Twin Peaks franchiser to cancel the patio reservation that was made on Sunday. Based on the information to date, we also believe that the violence began outside in the area of the parking lot, and not inside our restaurant or on our patio, as has been widely reported.

We are disappointed that the franchiser, Twin Peaks, made a sudden decision to cancel our Waco franchise before all of the facts are learned. We will continue to assist the authorities in any way possible that will assist in their efforts to bring the wrongdoers to justice.

Some Key Facts:

  • The Sunday afternoon event at the Waco restaurant was not a Bike Night. The Sunday event was a regular patio reservation made by a female customer who has been to the restaurant previously. 
  • The last Bike Night had taken place at the restaurant last Thursday, May 14, without incident. The Waco restaurant has hosted seven Bike Nights since last fall (four this spring) without altercations such as this. Twin Peaks, as a brand, has hosted many community-oriented Bike Nights, not only in Waco, but throughout the country in other locations, as do many other restaurants and organizations.   
  • We verified with the Twin Peaks franchiser that no one from law enforcement ever told them we should consider canceling the reservation that was booked for our patio on May 17 (or the biker night on Thursday the 14th).
  • Our restaurant general manager and two franchisee operators spoke with law enforcement officials on several occasions before May 17. Contrary to what is being widely reported, as best as we can determine at this time, no one from law enforcement ever told them to cancel the Sunday patio reservation. 
  • Ensuring the safety of our patrons and employees is our number one priority.
  • We are working with a third party video surveillance vendor to provide restaurant video footage in a format requested by law enforcement.
  • We have set up a process for counseling for our employees.
We are in the process of gathering additional facts, and urge that people avoid rushing to judgment before those facts are fully known."

That statement was released hours after Twin Peaks' corporate office said it was revoking the franchise agreement for the Waco Twin Peaks following Sunday's deadly shooting.

The Twin Peaks corporate office statement said:

"We are in the people business and the safety of the employees and guests in our restaurants is priority one. Unfortunately the management team of the franchised restaurant in Waco chose to ignore the warnings and advice from both the police and our company, and did not uphold the high security standards we have in place to ensure everyone is safe at our restaurants. We will not tolerate the actions of this relatively new franchisee and are revoking their franchise agreement immediately. Our sympathies continue to be with the families of those who died and are very thankful no employees, guests, police officers or bystanders were hurt or injured."

Twin Peaks corporate spokesman Rick Van Warner said Monday evening it's not likely the Waco store where the shootings took place would reopen under that same name.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Sunday implemented a summary suspension of the liquor license at Twin Peaks Waco for seven days so that agency could begin an investigation into whether the store was "negligent in taking reasonable measures to ensure the safety of their guests and others outside their business".  That investigation could take several weeks, if not months and could lead to further action from the TABC.

“Our investigators will continue to work with the Waco Police Department to collect statements from any party involved, especially the restaurant staff,” said Maj. Victor Kuykendoll, TABC District 2 Regional Commander. “We will continue to investigate the operations of the restaurant to determine if they failed to properly manage the folks on the premises and enabled this event to take place.”

According to TABC, Peaktastic Beverage LLC owns the Waco Twin Peaks location and the one in Harker Heights.

TABC said there is no cause to suspend the license at the Harker Heights location because there was not a shooting, stabbing or deadly conduct at that location.

In regards to the Waco location, the person who holds the alcohol license could face additional penalties depending on the outcome of the investigation.
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