If a restaurant wants to offer a discount on a customer’s check, it can go right ahead and do that. But when the discount is tied to showing gratitude for your meal, how the heck is a restaurant supposed to decide who’s grateful and who’s not?
A restaurant in Winston-Salem, N.C. caught the attention of social media this week when a customer posted a receipt on a Christian radio station’s Facebook page showing a 15% discount for “Public Praying,” Grub Street points out.
It’s not about who you pray to or whether you’re actually communing with any higher power though, the restaurant explains on its Facebook page.
“It’s not really a ‘religious’ thing. It’s a gratitude thing,” the restaurant said in reply to a question about the discount, which isn’t tied to any particular denomination or belief system.
But while you can easily point to a kid who isn’t crying and tearing around the room ripping tablecloths off and toppling chairs, and say, “Hey, give those parents a discount because their child is well-behaved,” it might be a bit harder to figure out what counts as public displays of gratitude.
“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,” the restaurant explains. “This could be prayer or just a moment to breathe and push the busyness of the world away.”
Making it even trickier for restaurant staff to figure out who’s a grateful customer and who isn’t — someone could claim to have bowed their head in thanks or clasped their hands, but what if no one sees it? Did it happen?
If these obstacles do prove difficult, heck, the restaurant might as well go ahead and just lower everyone’s bill by 15% in recognition of the general gratitude of polite customers, unless someone is an outright rude and ungrateful lump.