Stephanie Wilkinson: The New Restaurant Rules
Stephanie Wilkinson: The New Restaurant Rules
It was just last year that Stephanie Wilkinson, owner of The Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia kicked Sara Sanders out of her restaurant. Now, she is writing for The Washington Post. Democracy dies in darkness or something like that.
Wilkinson penned an op-ed this past Friday in which she made mention of collisions in the restaurant industry-namely, Cracker Barrel’s refusal to allow Grayson Fritts to hold an event at one of their Cleveland, TN restaurants and a server at a cocktail lounge in Chicago who spit on Eric Trump. She applauded Cracker Barrel’s decision. What did she have to say about the spitting server at Aviary? Read on:
A hatemonger with murderous intent doesn’t deserve anyone’s hospitality. But no one in the industry condones the physical assault of a patron.”-Stephanie Wilkinson
Correct me if I am wrong but it sure sounds like she is condoning a member of the service industry spitting on a paying customer. Or just spitting on anyone in general who opposes “the resistance”.
Stephanie Wilkinson, owner Red Hen, in Lexington, VA famous for throwing Sara Sanders out of her restaurant, says there's "new rules" at if you don't like the politics of a customer.
You can spit in their face. OK? Does this go both ways?#RedHen
— JLM (@JLM73TX) June 30, 2019
Wilkinson goes on to defend her position in this opinion piece:
The comments tend to fall into one of two camps: either that it’s illegal to discriminate against a person for his or her political stance or that it violates some imaginary unwritten universal service-for-all hospitality industry code.
Neither is quite right. Eateries have always reserved the right to refuse service. But in the main, the real hospitality code comes down to a simple if paradoxical statement: All are welcome. Terms and conditions apply.
All are welcome but terms and conditions apply. What exactly are these terms and conditions? Wilkinson does not elaborate but it may have something to do with political affiliation. As in, if you, in any way, support left-leaning politics, you will be welcome to dine and enjoy a meal with like-minded individuals at The Red Hen. If you don’t, terms and conditions apply…as in, Stephanie Wilkinson reserves the right to kick you out of her establishment.
Good ol’ hospitality, Red Hen style! But don’t deny a gay couple a wedding cake should they walk into your bakery and should you hold a firm stance against gay marriage. That’s not hospitable. That is intolerant. That will get you a lawsuit. That will wreck your business that you put blood, sweat and tears into building. Because, the rules have changed to conveniently fit into their ideologies alone. It’s completely okay to boot a Conservative out of a restaurant, though.
I’ve been to plenty of restaurants and establishments owned by, without a doubt, individuals whose philosophies and beliefs may not mesh with my own. If the food is good, if the atmosphere is right, the beer is tasty, I’m returning. Heated discussions do not happen because we’re all adults and can carry on a conversation beyond the political spectrum and find a level of commonality and mutual respect. People do this every day with ease. Seems Wilkinson needs to grow the heck up even though she says this is not about politics.
Because — and this is important and easily overlooked — at bottom this isn’t about politics. It’s about values, and accountability to values, in business. On a variety of levels, pressure is increasing on companies to articulate and stand by a code. Customers are demonstrating that they want to patronize companies that share their values.
So when the day comes that the world feels returned to its normal axis, I expect we’ll see fewer highly charged encounters making headlines. In the meantime, the new rules apply. If you’re directly complicit in spreading hate or perpetuating suffering, maybe you should consider dining at home.
For the rest, your table is waiting.-Stephanie Wilkinson
For Wilkinson, this is apparently about values. Like, if you are all for killing babies in the third trimester, you may be able to enjoy a warm, cozy dinner in a welcoming atmosphere because you share her values. If you’re all for spitting on people who do not agree with you or are classless enough to actually kick people out of your establishment not because of any trouble they were causing to your business but because of their political affiliation, your table (and your plate of hate) is waiting. Otherwise, stay home or better yet…go spend your hard-earned money elsewhere and don’t support this sanctimonious she-devil.
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