Stephanie Wilkinson: The New Restaurant Rules

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”.

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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  • GWB says:

    this isn’t about politics. It’s about values
    Yes. It’s not political. It’s religious. Progressivism is a cult.

  • Overgrown Hobbit says:

    I hate that this is true but… it seems to be. I beg you to find the flaw in my reasoning.

    Group Hen will
    1. not do business with you if unless you share their politics.
    2. Will harass anyone else who does business with you
    3. sometimes do business with half-savage barbarians if they share said politics

    Group Bob will
    1. Do business with anyone regardless of politics
    2. Will only harass people who directly threaten them, and not even then if they can resolve the matter.
    3. Sometimes do business with half-savage barbarians if profit > cost

    Tell me in what universe the Bobs don’t disappear, and the Hens take over… mass media, the Academy, publishing…

    • Michael Podeszwa says:

      Group Hen has alienated half their customer base. I personally will not eat at a Hen-type restaurant because a) I don’t want to be spit upon and b) I don’t want my food spit upon.

      Yes, the Hens have taken over some industry, but a lot of those industries are dying and independent film-makers, publishers and so forth are growing.

  • Mike-in-Keller says:

    Stephanie: If you’re directly complicit in spreading hate or perpetuating suffering, which you are, then maybe you should consider getting out of the restaurant business.

    You are not the only person who gets to decide what is hate and what constitutes perpetuating suffering. Perhaps there are those out there, like me, who think you do those things. Should those people throw bricks through your restaurant window? Should they set you restaurant afire?

    No, of course they should not do those things. But then, at the end of the day, all they would be doing is responding to the hate and suffering that your promote. Surely you would support them in attempting to stamp out such things.

    • Mike Morris says:

      I grew up in the South during the 50’s and 60’s. I am very familiar with Ms. Wilkinson’s policies concerning restaurants. Perhaps, as a business person she might like to consider separate entrances and dining areas.

      • Lauri Norris says:

        This sounds very familiar, doesn’t it?! Are t they the ones “against racism” “for equality “. Sounds like they are FOR SEGREGATION once again! Hmmm…blind to their hatred and intolerance, as they were when they supported the KKK!

  • Frank Salvador says:

    Rats in the kitchen

  • DB says:

    “Eateries have always reserved the right to refuse service.”

    One of my favorite old movies is “The Giant”. There’s a great scene about “refusing service”.

  • Dr Bob says:

    Perhaps it is time to fight fire with fire, rather than just “tsk tsk’ about how intolerant she and her restaurant are.

    Perhaps a picket line in front of her establishment 7 days a week, with lots of signs about liberal intolerance, hate, chanting – enough to have a bottom line impact. Dox her house and have protests there as well. Perhaps complaints to the health department, customers writing bad food reviews, about poor service, etc. Very few small restaurants have big margins, and a little can go a long way here. After all if the hateful left can shut down conservative/Christian businesses for “bigotry” etc, some turnaround is surely fair play.

    It’s long past time for conservatives to fight back rather than just whine

    • Eddie Feiy says:

      Right on, Dr. Bob !!!

    • GWB says:

      While I agree with you to some extent, there’s one small problem:
      Unlike progs, who have a ready-made force available in basement-dwelling, lightly-employed morons, we have jobs. Because we also have mortgages and car payments and kid’s college to save for, as well as out own retirement, etc. We’re stuck making the country go and taking care of our families, while the progs can gen up a mob on short notice.

    • James Jones says:

      What would be useful would be an online list, or an app, so that you can know which businesses share Ms. Wilkinson’s opinion and not patronize them.

  • Micha Elyi says:

    Remember, if Trump really were “literally Hitler” then the Red Hen restaurant would have already burned down under not-terribly-mysterious circumstances, Stephanie Wilkinson’s home would have already been ransacked and likely torched too, and she’d be fleeing the country–if she wasn’t already face down in a downtown street gutter after being beaten to death in plain sight.

    History, it’s more than just a pile of dusty old books.

    Cheap punks such as Stephanie Wilkinson and the unnamed, not-outed cocktail server who assaulted Eric Trump behave as they do because they are confident that Trump isn’t like Hitler in any way, shape or form.

    Trump’s fans can’t even muster a line of pickets to protest the uncivil behavior of these cheap punks. #LazyTrumpists are lazy.

  • Roman says:

    As long as you hate the correct people/things, take a seat.

  • Win Stanley says:

    Here is how to handle this activist style

    1. Have 4-6 groups of conservatives of color make reservations far enough in advance to enable roughly the same reservation times on the same date. Diversity would be nice. Families with young children. As a nice touch, have a senior woman who is tired after a long day of work and just looking for food.

    2. Have someone else make a reservation who has an eye for film making-someone with a higher end phone, a smooth hand, an eye for the right angle etc. They will capture the special moment when the time comes.

    3. After being seated, exchanging pleasantries with the server, receiving water etc., each group dons their MAGA buttons. (They will remove them once their exit is in motion)

    4. Film the ensuing disgrace, as table after table of people of color are denied service and asked to leave the establishment. The visual will be extremely unsettling.

    5. Post the videos on social media.

    Of course, the shorter route is to have them wear their buttons at the door and film as person of color after person of color is denied a seat at the restaurant. Each one getting turned away.

    I know of no better way of revealing how bigoted, unamerican and hate-filled the Wilkinsons of the world are.

  • Rick Caird says:

    I would like to see a long line outside her restaurant where everyone went in, sat down, and put on their MAGA hat and ordered nothing. But, that would be mean. Unlike conservatives, liberals would not make a point of going to her restaurant. Conservatives, on the other hand, would make it a point not to go. She will not be in business much longer. The restaurant across the street should put up a big sign: “All viewpoints welcome for dinner”.

  • Wear the MAGA hat into the restaurant …
    Order your meal to go.
    Using medial samples custody techniques, secure your meal as provided.
    (Tamper-proof seals, signatures, witnesses…)
    Send to testing laboratory for contamination testing (spit, mucus.. any human disgusting material…)
    Contact your lawyer, and discuss the testing results – then a YUGE PRESS CONFERENCE …
    Reveal the testing results, provide written results, lawsuit filing, and DOX the food provider, cafe, Red Hen …
    In the lawsuit, freeze assets before bankruptcy, liquidation …

  • Terry Bowling says:

    We need to spread this hate message all over so everyone can see it.I know we real (Americans) will see her for what she is.

  • lou says:

    Well what would they have done if the bakery owner had spit on the couple?? Which we won’t come down to their level but that is what she is advocating. If you are not with us you are against us. Well it could go the other way. …..

  • Da Bear says:

    So, I get puncture in my tire, and pull into the nearest full service gas station to get it patched. The black “progressive” mechanic sees my NRA logo bag in the back seat of the car, and assumes I’m a white raciest, who voted for Donald Trump.

    He refuses to fix my tire, and he calls his buddies over to verbally harass me, until a tow truck arrives.

    Now imagine it’s your wife or daughter alone in that situation.

    The WashPo is complicit in destroying the fabric of American society and returning America to the Old World order of tribalism.

    The MSM, and the Marxist politicians/actors are gleefully drilling holes in the Titantic’s lifeboats, while throwing the all the ships’s life vests overboard.

    • GWB says:

      Scream at him about assuming both your color and your gender, informing him that he is ripe for a leftist-mob wire-brushing. Then take out your phone and take a picture and tweet it out on your outrage account.

  • dirty dave says:

    Table for 2 in the non-spitting section, please.

  • Patrick Martin says:

    Her response, “terms and conditions apply” comes down to this:

    All animals are equal.
    Some animals are more equal than others.

  • Anne says:

    I am unclear, how it different to throw out someone because of their beliefs , than to toss someone because of their race or sexual orientation, or maybe religious affiliation, all of which are heinous. . I cannot imagine dining in a restaurant where there is spitting. Makes you wonder where else she is spitting. All of this, combined with Niki’s latest, makes me wonder what we have come to be as a country. Conservatives have their issues also but nothing compared to the vitriol of the progressives. I never thought I would say this but the President gets back many more times the hatred than he dishes put. Some of this makes him seem mild mannered. I like what he does for the country, but not what he says in his twits, and I don’t like his bragging. You do it have to be my best friend to be an effective leader.

    On another subject, are these people to stupid to understand that POTUS’ sucking up to these dictators is because he understands that that is what softens them up. They all like to have their egos stroked. He may hate their guts, but he makes them think he holds them in high esteem. It’s part of getting what you want from egotistical maniacs

    Next, has anyone looked at border conditions under O? I think not. But O could have shackled people and it would have been okay with the Libs. He could do no wrong, mostly because of his skin color. If that isn’t racism, what is? Progressives are the biggest racists around. Sometimes self righteous perceived kindness is very patronizing. It assumes lack of competence and self control.

  • Anne says:

    Oops, that should be you do NOT have to be my best friend, and twits should have been tweets. Although twits might be appropriate sometimes.

  • Chuck says:

    My hat is off to Sarah and her husband for their restraint. If anyone were to spit on my wife or I there would be instant retaliation that would require multiple 911 calls. Them, as much as I hate the idea of law suits, find an attorney mean enough to repossess pacemakers to file a major law suit against the server and the restaurant. Salvation Army sure could use the money.

  • KO_Conservative says:

    Refusing to serve a person is quite different from refusing to host their event and make special arrangements and accommodations to them. The former Press Secretary was not asking the Red Hen to sponsor a political event, she was seeking a meal. Nothing special, nothing political, not even a selfie at the cash register with the owner.

    The fact that Stephanie Wilkinson cannot. or chooses not, to distinguish this difference is the problem with our society where we excuse incivility because someone coopts a fig leaf of moral outrage to hide their immaturity and lack of perspective. Hyperbolic actions engender further hyperbolic actions.

    The tactics of Antifa, the KKK, BLM, the mafia, gangs, white separatists / nationalists, the SPLC, anarchists, sanctuary cities, and all who excuse when the rule of law is forsaken for expediency all speak and act with the same intent – to ruthlessly enforce their will onto others.

    When we refuse civility and the willingness to discuss and argue with facts, we move toward the tactics of radicals. If this is who Stephanie Wilkinson wants to be, then she chooses a slippery slope, and promotes these tactics to spread the very intolerance she says she stands against. Her self-satisfied victory at the restaurant is a Pyrrhic one.

  • John says:

    Honey, your 15 minutes was up a long time ago.

  • sound awake says:

    in addition to taking a knee for the flag megan rapinoe exercised her 1st amendment right to express her disdain for and loathing of both the president and people like me who voted for him
    so now im choosing to exercise my 1st amendment right to not root for victory for her or her team

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