Dealing With Surprising Social Media Fame

Update 8/2/14 – NPR has a story about this and in it mention that they are checking with the Justice Department to see if the restaurant’s policy is a violation of the prohibition against public businesses like restaurant’s discrimating based on religion. It would seem not since the discount is supposedly at the discretion of each server, but then again stuff like this is often not obvious or all that logical. I wouldn’t blame the restaurant for discontinuing the policy just to play it safe.

Mary’s Gourmet Diner on Trade Street in Winston-Salem just found out what it’s like to have something go viral. From a story on HLNTV:

The tab belonged to Jordan Smith, who had traveled to Winston-Salem for a business trip and stopped for breakfast at Mary’s with two colleagues Wednesday morning.

She tells HLN the group “prayed over our meal and the waitress came over at the end of the meal and said, ‘Just so you know, we gave you a 15% discount for praying,’ which I’d never seen before.”

Impressed, Smith shared a photo of the receipt on her Facebook page. A mutual friend then posted the pic on the page of Orlando Christian radio station Z88.3 and it’s taken off from there, being shared more than 1,700 times as of Thursday afternoon.

Well, apparently things heated up on Facebook thanks to all the attention, causing Mary to post the following on her business’ Facebook page:

MarysFB

Here’s the text in case that’s hard to read:

There’s a lot of craziness going on in regard to the 15% discount. I will not respond to all the posts. I will say that it is not a “policy”, it’s a gift we give at random to customers who take a moment before their meal. This could be prayer or just a moment to breathe & push the busyness of the world away. Who you talk to or meditate on etc. is your business. I have lived in a 3rd world country, there are people starving. We live in a country with an abundance of beautiful food. I NEVER take that for granted. It warms my heart to see people with an attitude of gratitude. Prayer, meditation or just breathing while being grateful opens the heart chakra. It’s good for everyone!!!! Thanks to my local community for your support…you know who I am. As for all the people posting negative comments about me & my restaurant who have never met me or been to the restaurant, thanks for sharing, it’s your right to speak out, just as it is mine. Peace, love & happy eating!!!!

It’s a sign of our times that doing almost anything positive can be turned into a negative. Sheesh.

We were talking about this at work and we all had the same thought before Mary posted on Facebook: if we know they’re giving 15% off just for praying we’d bow our heads in a heartbeat. Of course that kind of defeats the purpose, but I wonder how many people around Winston were thinking the same thing?

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