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Have you ever boycotted a restaurant for non food/service related issues? (i.e. political statements)

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In Toronto it was ruled today that the Mayor didn't act correctly in a conflict of interest case and he was removed as mayor (pending appeals/etc). I noticed on twitter a bunch of places that I follow starting to making insulting comments (like, sending messages to the Mayor's twitter laughing at him) and other places that were commenting about politics that normally deal with food issues/etc.

Anyway, I don't really have a strong view about him either way but just the way that some people have immatuerly commented on it via twitter has made me second guess if I will support their business again.

I know that there was a lot of boycotting with regards to chick-fil a but just wondering about other instances/experiences or if you let the food/service rule your decision.

  1. If the restaurant is in my face with their politics, and I don't agree with those politics - for example, posters on the wall, frequent political discussion, donations solicited for certain causes - then I will not patronize that restaurant. On the flip side, if the restaurant supports a similiar ideology to me, I will not patronize it any more than the food warrants.

    Establishments that support causes unobtrusively, such as chik-fil-a, are fine by me. As long as their crusades aren't in my face when I walk in to grab a bite, I will continue to patronize them.

    The several places around me that have been very vocal about their politics and causes have been very polarizing and tend not to stick around long once they start being very vocal and in-your-face about their ideology.

    Really, I don't think food and politics mix very well. Personal ideology shouldn't be served with my meal!

    6 Replies
    1. re: MonMauler

      So if you knew that, say, CFA supported the Ugandan proposal for death penalty for gays and lesbians (hypothetical, perhaps, but surely not completely beyond the realm of possibility), but "weren't in your face about it", you'd continue to eat there?

      Bon appetit.

      1. re: linguafood

        Exactly. Your hypothetical carries quite a bit of hyperbole, but I agree with the basic sentiment, that if an establishment donates to a cause I do not agree with - but does so unobtrusively - then it is really none of my business. If I like the food, I'm not gonna stop going there simply because I disagree with the views of some faceless dude the profits go to. For me, and most people (I think), this applies to most businesses.

        What one wants to support with their proceeds is really not my concern. I'm not going to let their personal views interfere with my enjoyment of life as long as they aren't shoving them in my face every chance they get.

        1. re: linguafood

          Here in Pittsburgh, I don't buy anything at the gayhating Peace, Love, and LIttle Donuts, even though I walk past the Oakland location weekly. It's just donuts, but still. That he uses the sentiments of peace and love to market his little balls of hate makes me sick.

          And anyone who thinks Chick Filet has been "unobtrusive" hasn't been paying attention.

          1. re: Jay F

            I think there's a distinction between Peace, Love and Donuts and the CFA situation. I too walk past PL&D often (will possibly do so later today), and I don't go in there, ever, either. But the owner is very chirpy about his views, and there are regularly pamphlets and signage in his store promoting his ridiculous positions.

            CFA is different. I've never been in a single CFA where I've seen the owners views promoted in any way. The staff at CFA is uniformly nice to people of any race, creed and sexual orientation IME. The political leanings of CFA's owner were exposed by media watchdogs and are otherwise impossible to discern by patronizing the restaurant.

            Because of these distinctions I have no problem patronizing CFA, while I absolutely have boycotted PL&D.

            1. re: MonMauler

              That may be true where you live, but my last visit to CFA was when they offered me a free copy of the Washington Times with my order. I knew that the owners trended right before then, but that crossed a line I could not ignore.

              1. re: MonMauler

                The staff may be kind. However, not only are there many cases of labour exploitation at CFA, but evangelical anti-gay activity is linked to Ugandan politics. It's not hyberbole, and it may not be in your face at the restaurant, but it exists.

                It's certainly your choice to disregard this, but I wouldn't try to justify it beyond a statement in which you declare your restaurants to be off limits as a means of expressing your politics.

                If you can't tell, I definitely engage in boycotts for political stances (which also include treatment of labour). That said, I am trying to figure out how to manage this beyond restaurants since so much is caught up in exploitative and abusive systems. *Sigh*

      2. I vote with my pocketbook and will not financially support any business who practices I find abhorrant. For example I will not buy popcorn, etc from the Boy Scouts.

        19 Replies
        1. re: foodieX2

          I won't buy the Boy Scout Popcorn because they charge about 1000% more than the grocery store for an equivalent product.
          BTW, I'm really surprised that the mods haven't shut this thread down.

          1. re: TroyTempest

            I have no problem supporting the young people in my life even though the cost of what I am getting is not usually worth it.

            1. re: foodieX2

              I don't either, but the key to your statement is "young people in my life". Just because some kid lives in my neighborhood, I now have to look at value first. After all, if i'm going to give $15 for some crappy popcorn, that's $15 my family won't enjoy. God, I sound like a grouch.
              Once i worked with a woman who brought her kid up to the office dressed in his boy scout uniform and he went to everyone's office on my floor selling his popcorn. That was when i put my foot down.

              1. re: TroyTempest

                At least she brought her son in to sell his popcorn and didn't just do it herself.

                1. re: viperlush

                  I detest the selling of food items to raise money. I would much rather just give them $20,that they can have all of, than spend $20 for something I don't need or want and they only get part of the money.

                  1. re: kengk

                    That goes for all items and not just food. Wreaths, wrapping paper, Xmas trees, magazines etc. Though I do like bake sales and cake walks.

                    1. re: viperlush

                      Unlike the selling of chocolate almonds and other foods, the people who bake for bake sales are usually donating their baked goods. The charity gets all the money.

                      I only buy baked goods at bake sales that I want so I never run into the problem of spending money on something I don't want. Some bake sales offer a lot of bang for the buck.

                    2. re: kengk

                      My mother has always done this and taught me well. If I want to support the group, I just give them the $5 so they get all of it, rather than the 24 cents on the box that they would get if I bought the stuff I don't need anyway.

            2. re: foodieX2

              +1 This is my response too (and the Boy Scouts are a good example, as is the Salvation Army, the aforementioned Chick Fil A and others). And I do go out of my way to try to support companies that do things I like/believe in.

              During this last nasty election period, the owner of a very small restaurant posted a number of blatant and nasty political posts that were opposite my views. Had he not posted, I would not have known he had such vitriol and I didn't care for him using his restaurants' FB page to voice his personal political opinions. I posted and said I would never patronize their place again, and would tell others not to as well - not because of their particular views, but for using FB as a bully pulpit.

              1. re: rockandroller1

                rock on, rockeandroller, i'm with you there

                1. re: rockandroller1

                  <that were opposite my views>

                  Had the posting(s) been the same as your views would you have been as upset?

                  1. re: latindancer

                    I would have been bothered even were the views were similar to mine.
                    Vitriol and mini coronations in the store front and "social media" get to me,not in a good way.To use Harters' word "fool" and the chosen forum seems to have lost perspective enough to loose me and my pocketbook.Go that far in public,the public will respond and remember.

                    1. re: latindancer

                      Ask yourself -- would you be 'as upset' if someone else held the *same* views as you?

                      Highly unlikely, no? Kind of a non-question.

                      1. re: linguafood

                        <Kind of a non-question>

                        I really don't want to see anything political/religious/philosophical in ANY business I support, regardless of what it is and how much I support what they're saying. I go for the food and nothing else. So, no, I don't think it's a 'non-question' at all.

                        1. re: latindancer

                          But you would likely be more offended by an opposing view than you would be by one you agree with, yes? Or are both of these 'offenses' entirely the same to you?

                          1. re: linguafood

                            You know, I have rarely run into a situation in a business where the question becomes an issue. In my opinion an owner is stupid for risking offending customers, openly, with his/her views. Maybe I'd be more offended by the stupidity than anything else.

                      2. re: latindancer

                        They shouldn't be using the account for those purposes. While if their post had been on the same side of the fence as mine, I might not have been as upset, I still don't think they should be voicing their views this way, and they surely would alienate a different customer that wasn't me.

                      3. re: rockandroller1

                        Owner's a fool, then. Only a fool is going to post views that many customers (and potential customers) are going to object to. It's just bad for business.

                        1. re: Harters

                          Yes, he was a fool. When I complained about the post, he told me not to get my panties in a bunch. REALLY?

                    2. I don't usually boycott, but I have gone out of my way to patronize a local establishment that was willing to put a partisan pro-Democrat sign in its window. I've also been tempted to patronize a chik-fil-a due to protesters that I found to be overly douchy. I once pulled into a KFC drive-through because I didn't like the protesters with the signs out front who looked like a bunch of dirty hippies. (I'm a Democrat who hates hippies.)

                      1. If the owners (of any type establishment) piss me off for any reason I tend to not patronize their establishment. On the other hand, I don't go out of my way to see if they are doing anything that might make me angry.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: kengk

                          That's my basic philosophy. I fear that if I spent all of my time researching the personal philosophies, political causes and favorite charities of the owners of every business that I patronize, I might never be able to purchase food (or clothes, or definitely not electronics) ever again. Therefore, I recognize that I do not have the time nor ability to make a stand with every dollar. However, if I do come across information that upsets me or flies directly in the face with my own beliefs, I will stop patronizing the establishment. Although to be fair, it turns out a lot of the companies I end up feeling uncomfortable about are places I never shopped at in the first place, so my strong boycott probably isn't affecting their bottom line much :p

                          1. re: hyacinthgirl

                            I agree with everything you've stated.

                        2. similar thread here:

                          i know someone who boycotts based on this:

                          for me, it would depend on the issue. some topics are so core to me that doing business with a place would be out of the question. thankfully several of these issues are also illegal so i don't face it often. just about the only one that is still accepted by many is lobbying against lesbian/gay rights. this can take some discreet and hidden forms such as donations to fundamentalist religions and family values interest groups.

                          here's an interesting self-quiz: how would you feel if your favourite store/restaurant/chain were supporting or protesting:
                          (1) store closings on sundays or holidays (still an issue in quebec until not too long ago)?
                          (2) gun control (nra, etc.)?
                          (3) lesbian/gay marriage (doma/pflag/etc.)?
                          (4) banning the word "christmas" from all stores and advertising, substituting "holiday"?
                          (5) white supremacy (kkk etc.)?

                          some issues will push my buttons and others i wouldn't stress over.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ta0126

                            "i know someone who boycotts based on this:
                            http://www.theburgerspriest.com/the-g... "

                            well that's good news - my boyfriend the die-hard atheist will now stop insisting we eat their revolting and over-priced burgers while sitting on a wall in the parking lot. I always though the priest schtick was just a hook for punny burger names, so clearly they don't push their religious beliefs to an extent where it would offend me or put me off, even if their beliefs don't exactly align with my own.

                          2. I've boycotted restaurants that are owned by business people who own other establishments with sexist, looksist and/or ageist door policies, as well as establishments that seem to encourage the objectification of their servers and bartenders. I realize these establishments are probably trying to increase drink sales, and aren't intentionally making a political statement. I suppose I'm the one making some sort of political statement by avoiding their establishments. I also won't go to a faux Irish bars that have synthetic mini-kilt uniforms for their female employees.

                            While I haven't avoided Domino's, Baskin Robbins, Dunkin' Donuts and other food businesses in which Bain Capital has invested, I like knowing who is investing in various chains. I was annoyed to learn that Baskin Robbins shut down its plant in Ontario. That gave me one more reason to favour Ben & Jerry.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: prima

                              "I was annoyed to learn that Baskin Robbins shut down its plant in Ontario. That gave me one more reason to favour Ben & Jerry."

                              Yes, because taking business away from a manufaturer/seller ensures that they won't close down any other plants. That's sound thinking.

                              1. re: FrankJBN

                                That was the last North American Baskin Robbins manufacturing plant. I don't know how taking away business from BR would effect the closing of their other manufacturing plants located in other markets. http://www.patriotledger.com/topstori...

                                I'd rather support companies selling ice cream that's manufactured in my province/region, so more of my money stays in my province. Baskin Robbins decided to outsource its manufacturing to Scotsburn Dairy in NS, rather than continuing to manufacture its own ice cream. Ben & Jerry's for the Canadian market is made at a Unilver plant in my province.

                                1. re: prima

                                  "I don't know how taking away business from BR would effect the closing of their other manufacturing plants located in other markets."

                                  You see, if people don't buy a product, there is no need to manufacture it locally or elsewhere.

                            2. I've stopped going to a couple bars/restaurants because I made the mistake of "liking" them on facebook and seeing all their obnoxious/annoying posts. And I have decided to boycott some restaurants that are outspoken in their opposition to Happy Hour in Mass.

                              1. Folks, we can have this discussion as long as it remains fairly friendly and general. Please do not make this personal -- posters can come out on different sides of the question of whether to hold a business owner's non-food related positions against them without personally approving or disapproving of those opinions.

                                1. <if you let the food/service rule your decision>

                                  I'm amazed at people who know the political/religious/philosophical beliefs of the places they shop or dine at. I've really never given it much thought. If I love the food or am treated well at the places I spend my money at then I'll continue to go. I guess I've been lucky.

                                  21 Replies
                                  1. re: latindancer

                                    Some people like to be informed on the goings on in the world, even if the injustices aren't inflicted upon them personally.

                                    I guess you have been very, very lucky indeed.

                                      1. re: latindancer

                                        "I'm amazed at people who know the political/religious/philosophical beliefs of the places they shop or dine at. I've really never given it much thought. If I love the food or am treated well at the places I spend my money at then I'll continue to go. I guess I've been lucky."

                                        No need to deduce anything, as your post was quite clear, I thought?

                                      2. re: linguafood

                                        So the personal beliefs of the guy who runs the diner qualify as "the goings on in the world"?

                                        I am well informed on the goings on of the world, but for me that does not include what Sal the pizza guy thinks.

                                        1. re: FrankJBN

                                          What is the world but 7 billion Sals?

                                          I definitely believe in 'voting with my wallet,' i.e., having my purchases reflect my values. Certainly there are a lot of people more obsessive than I about it, but I'm sure I could name off the top 25 ways my spending reflects my values. I think it's very worthwhile to begin ... and one way I do this is going to Mom & Pop restaurants and local chainlets as much as possible. I work with a guy who says that if a restaurant doesn't advertise on TV, he hasn't been there. My habits are the very opposite ...

                                          1. re: FrankJBN

                                            There are things that I find objectionable to me that another person may not find objectionable to them.
                                            My beliefs, my philosophies and a whole slew of other life experiences determine what I may, or may not, find objectionable. I don't expect someone else to support my objections and I would hope they wouldn't expect me to support theirs, unless I wanted to.
                                            For instance, long ago I vowed I would forever boycott a company whose unpasteurized food product killed a few children with e coli. I hated how they handled it and I am outspoken about it to this day. Many people I know purchase the product but that's their choice....I don't interfere. If I were to begin researching and investigating every single business/restaurant/retail store that I support I'd, most likely, find something that would be defined as 'objectionable'. In order for me to boycott that business I would have to find it personally objectionable. I would be the one to make that determination, not someone else doing it for me.

                                        2. re: latindancer

                                          Usually when they do, it is because the proprietor has chosen to make it public. I don't seek out this info, and bet most hounds don't either.

                                          1. re: linguafood

                                            I've known about Chick Filet's politics exactly as long as I've known about their sandwiches (c. 1999). I don't know how you can avoid it. Oh, and I wouldn't eat their sandwiches even if they hired Neil Patrick Harris, Elton John, and Matt Bomer as their spokespeople. It's not good food (warm mayo, at the very least).

                                            1. re: Jay F

                                              Pssst -- you're given them too much credit by calling that "chicken" abomination a "filet". It really is as good as it is spelled FIL-A.

                                              That's actually all I need to know not to eat there :-)

                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                I do it on purpose, to avoid googleability.

                                              2. re: Jay F

                                                Why would I know anything about Chick Fil-A at all (other than the recent news flurry)? Don't know how one could avoid knowing about their politics? Why would I think that a fast food chicken restaurant would have any politics? I've somehow managed to avoid Ray Kroc's politics too. What are they?

                                                1. re: FrankJBN

                                                  FrankJBN: <<Why would I know anything about Chick Fil-A at all (other than the recent news flurry)?>>

                                                  I can't answer this for you. I've known about CFA's politics for as long as I've known about their sandwiches. Maybe I read more.

                                                  1. re: FrankJBN

                                                    Ray Kroc gave $200K to Richard Nixon's presidential campaign. His widow, Joan Kroc donated $1 million (at the time it was the largest single donation ever to the DNC) to the Democratic Party. She spent many millions on liberal causes -- helping the homeless (actually more than a billion $ for homeless assistance projects), establishing peace and justice institutes at UCSD and Notre Dame millions for nuclear disarmament, $225 million to National Public Radio, $5 million to her local NPR station in San Diego, KPBS.

                                                    1. re: Divalicias

                                                      Really? I knew that Ray Kroc was very conservative. I had no idea about his widow's progressive inclinations.

                                                2. re: linguafood

                                                  I should have been more clear, i guess. What you say is certainly true of chains, but not always local mom and pop operations unless they want you to know.

                                                  1. re: TroyTempest

                                                    Right. I was only referring to chains who are generally pretty open about what causes they support -- after all, to many people that can be a selling point.

                                                  2. re: linguafood

                                                    If I, personally, find a business practice offensive, whether it be political, religious, philosophical etc....then I'll terminate my business. However, I won't boycott the business solely because it offends someone else.
                                                    It's no different, to me, than crossing a picket line.

                                                    1. re: latindancer

                                                      I thought the original question was quite obviously about what one *personally* "finds offensive, whether it be political, religious, philosophical etc" enough to not frequent that business.

                                                      Thank you for clarifying your first statement, which made it sound like you didn't care about anyone else but yourself and your treatment at that store, at that time.

                                                    2. re: TroyTempest

                                                      <I don't see out this infom and bet most hounds don't either.>

                                                      Thanks, Troy. I like to think of myself as 'informed on the goings on in the world'. However, having saying that, I'm not very inclined, or interested, to look/google/inquire about the nuances, regarding places I support. Unless, as you say, they're visually posted or for some reason they're the focus of the media. I love good food and I like to go out. If there was a particular symbol or hate filled message on a window in front of a storefront then, for sure, I wouldn't enter.

                                                      1. re: TroyTempest

                                                        Troy's position is exactly mine - but I have to say that personally I'm more prone to take a stronger boycott attitude towards a chain/larger business than a privately owned business.

                                                        I currently live abroad and shop primarily from private vendors - many of whom I'm sure have different political/social views than I do. But I also presume that they're hardly making millions and supporting causes in a huge financial way where my economically supporting them in turn supports a cause I disagree with. That being said, in the open air market I shop at, one vendor made a comment that I was wearing something inappropriate/immodest - and I have stopped buying from him.

                                                        Where I am far more inclined to support a place based on similar interests (political and otherwise) is a (privately owned) bar. If it's a place where I feel that the owners are more generically aligned with my views and the patrons are more aligned with my views - I assume that's a better recipe for a nice night out than going to a place just because they have the cheapest drinks/best cocktails but people I don't want to be surrounded by.

                                                    3. There's a burger place here (quite good) that has a wall of heavily conservative bumper stickers, basically aligned with recent 47% comments, that I find pretty offensive. They also have homemade signs with Bambi graphics promoting their venison burgers. Not ruling it out, but I haven't been back so far.

                                                      I found it interesting that CFA had some "4 more years" billboards prior to the election here in a red state.

                                                      The major business I boycott, known for defending their discriminatory practices against women all the way to the Supreme Court, sells food but is not a restaurant.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: foiegras

                                                        Hard to choke down the food of bigots, even if the salespeople are sweet faced.

                                                      2. I try to avoid supporting ANY business that supports causes that are abhorrent to me. Years ago, it was Cracker Barrel which I actually didn't like at all but sometimes when you were on the road and your traveling companions wouldn't stop whining....then it was Dominos, due to the support of franchisor Tom Monaghan of Operation Rescue. Plus the pizza sucks, but even if it was the best pizza on earth, I wouldn't spend one dime there. Ditto Carl's Jr, whose owner was also rapidly anti-gay. I won't buy from Macy's so long as they continue to do business with Donald Trump. I don't buy from Sierra Trading Post because I don't care to have their religious beliefs (or anyone's religious beliefs) shoved down my throat. I didn't fly Alaska Air for years for the same reason. I am still not clear if they just removed the religious slogans from the cocktail napkins or if they really have decided that business and religion don't mix. I am quite sure they really don't want my atheist dollars.
                                                        I avoid anything owned by the Kochs. I avoid Walmart because of their disastrous impact on the U.S. economy and the tragically disastrous impact on the lives and health of the workers who make products for Walmart's producers.

                                                        Use your dollars to support your convictions, whether for food or anything else. Money talks.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: Just Visiting

                                                          <Use our dollars to support your convictions, whether for food or anything else. Money talks.>

                                                          If I did this with every single thing that bothers me regarding religion, politics and philosophies, I most likely, wouldn't have anywhere to go to eat or shop.
                                                          There are things that are blatant and then there are things I'd have to go looking for before I spent my money. Life's too short.

                                                          1. re: Just Visiting

                                                            I'm conflicted about the Macy's boycott since it's one of the few retailers with union workers. But back to food....it's easy to stay on a boycott diet when most of the food is yucky anyway....There was a local business here that did an okay job with food, depending on the cook. The owner was a Gulf War veteran and making a go of a different business. We wanted to support him and overlooked many of the restaurant's flaws, because he was local and hired locals, and was a veteran, etc. Then one day he decided to put a "Speak English Only" sign on his front door. Wow, that really hurt a lot of people's feelings, including other military families whose wives and mothers were foreign born and struggling to master English. Other friends had children adopted from overseas and they were upset. We have a growing diversity in our county of people from all over the planet -- many of whom are refugees and have not become proficient in English and are very self-conscious about it. My friends and I tried to explain this to the owner of the restaurant and he just shook his head and said he was just joking. Then we later found out that he was making fun of us to other customers who shared his English Only "joke." We confronted him about that and he tried to pass off his behavior as "just kidding" and inferred that we lacked a sense of humor. I was slack-jawed at his total lack of awareness. He was bragging to people that his exclusionary sign was upsetting to us. So we began a boycott. His business suffered. We offered him an opportunity to make amends -- but he never did. He went on the show "Restaurant Impossible" and the sign came down. (Wasn't talked about on the show,) The restaurant closed about 5-6 months after the show aired. I really don't feel too sorry for the guy, other than his seeming complete lack of self-awareness is a terrible handicap to him.

                                                            1. re: Divalicias

                                                              It's always crucial in these things to make the good faith effort to talk things over first with the owner, which you did. Blindsiding a genuinely unaware person is bad. Since he persisted in his bigotry even after the extent of the sales drop made it clear he was not really in touch with community standards where he lived (quite apart from it being hateful), and after a repeated attempt to come to terms, then he made his bed.
                                                              Also to underline that what you have described sounds like an organized boycott, rather than "personally I don't feel comfortable patronizing them." This is not a criticism of course, just an observation.

                                                          2. I am currently boycotting a certain Pizza company due to the owners Obamacare comments (after he gives away 2 million free pizzas).

                                                            On a local level, I frequent My Favorite Muffin & Bagel. Just before the election I went in and one of the employees (later I found out it was the owner) had a Romney pin on her apron. People are entitled to their opinion but I dont feel it professional to do so at work. I was turned off and decided to not tip that day. 50 cent's back in my pocket and I let the usual employees know a few days later that I hadn't tipped and the reason why. Turns out they were well aware of the problem but were powerless.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: joe777cool

                                                              >>I am currently boycotting a certain Pizza company due to the owner's Obamacare comments<<

                                                              I've been boycotting it since the first time I ate one. Who wants sugar on pizza?

                                                              1. re: Jay F

                                                                true, the terrible pizza makes it pretty easy to boycott!

                                                                1. re: joe777cool

                                                                  I complained and they wanted to give me free pizza, and I said, "No, you don't get it. I don't want *more* of your pizza. I want you to come and take this one away." But a free pizza was all their system was set up to offer. I can't remember if they offered a refund or not (it was years ago).

                                                            2. Interesting posts so far.... Good way for people to be a bit more informed about their decisions too as I didn't know about some of the issues posted here (Although, we don't have a bunch of the chains up in Canada)

                                                              1. I eschewed my favourite Greek restaurant because they continued to allow smoking after a city-wide ban was invoked. Really irked me to lose that saganaki.

                                                                1. Chowhounds are being surprisingly civil in this thread.
                                                                  Yeah I'm a liberal jerk who doesn't eat at Chik Fil A, Dominoes or Papa John's.
                                                                  Not that I ever did before, since the food is awful at all three establishments in my opinion.
                                                                  There is a local BBQ place that is very vocally rightwing and blatantly supports some views that I abhor. I have eaten there but it annoyed me.
                                                                  I know objectively I make no difference to their bottom line but I guess it assuades my privledged white girl guilt.

                                                                  I'm self deprecating about this, obviously.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: emmekin

                                                                    I fully support your boycott of both CFA and Papa John's, but the Dominos thing is way outdated. They are no longer privately owned. Also, since their public apology for making horrible pizza, it's surprisingly tasty.

                                                                    1. re: JonParker

                                                                      Yeah, Monaghan sold it to BAIN CAPITAL. Boo hiss!

                                                                    2. re: emmekin

                                                                      ". I have eaten there but it annoyed me." And that makes all the difference.

                                                                    3. I fully support a restaurants right to voice their beliefs or opinions, even if I or anyone else finds those views abhorant. The day that the government says no they can't will be a sad day for this country.

                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                      1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                        Perhaps I missed it, but I don't think anyone was arguing the government should restrict it. But would you agree that choosing to boycott, if one wishes, is a great way to express one's beliefs while still allowing others the right to their beliefs?

                                                                        Personally, I have avoided places, both food related and not, because I disagreed with positions held by the owners. I don't want my money, even in the form of someone else's profits, to go to a cause I do not support. (I am well aware that it is impossible to ensure this never happens, and that not all business owners' private beliefs are made public. Not thatI feel they are obligated to do so),

                                                                        1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                          No one said so implicitly, but obviously many on this thread have expressed the view that restaurants should not voice strong political opinions. My point is that every American, and thereby every American business, has the right to do so. Likewise, any American has the right to boycott any business of their choosing. As a history teacher, I cannot help but think of the Civil Rights era boycotts, which mostly worked.

                                                                          1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                            i totally disagree. If a business of any sort expresses strong political, then the public are free to boycott or support that business.
                                                                            What has been voiced, in my opinion is that if you are in business and want to risk alienating (and losing) a big portion of your customers, then you are free to do so.

                                                                            1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                              You actually said that "The day that the government says no they can't will be a sad day for this country," when there wasn't any discussion at all about the gov't in any of the comments. Every single comment was about the personal beliefs of how to answer the OP.

                                                                              1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                I didn't read most peoples' comments as meaning restaurant owners shouldn't express their views, but that it is poor business practice to do so. If one is in the business of pleasing others, it is probably best to avoid offending the public through the business. If you feel strongly that you want those views public, then be prepared to accept whatever consequences may arise.

                                                                                I too am a high school teacher, and am VERY careful to hide my personal opinions on most matters. It isn't a direct correlation here, but there is at least a tangential connection. One of the best compliments I ever received was when mid-way through a norm-heavy course a student told me he couldn't figure out my position on anything. That was my goal; I have quite definite views, but they do not belong in my classroom. I've discovered trough this thread that my centrist Canadian views (which would be lefty US views) are not held by a number of posters I am familiar with. But, it didn't come up until it was in context and was respectfully worded, and so I have not lessened my opinion if these posters.

                                                                                1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                  I think any business that voices strong political opinions is just stupid. Keep your opinions to yourslef and don't risk alienating customers.

                                                                                  However, of course a business has the right to express their views if they choose (subject to them not being illegal in that jurisdiction) , and customers have a right to boycott. I have no objections to boycott - there are products originating from one country that I refuse to buy and have done for the whole of my adult life.

                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                    I agree when it's a controversial issue but for instance I don't think the environmental consciousness expressed by companies such as Whole Foods, Great Lakes Brewing Co. to name a couple is hurtful to their bottom line.

                                                                                  2. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                    While there is the right to speak your mind, as a business or individual, it doesn't mean that there won't be consequences. If you're a politician, what you say may cause people not to vote for you. If you're an employee, what you say at work can get you fired. And if you're a business owner, people may boycott you.

                                                                                    The right to free speach means you won't go to jail for what you say (though even in that sense there are exceptions), not that there aren't other consequences.

                                                                              2. I will boycott a restaurant for racial/ethnic prejudice but not over politics.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: redfish62

                                                                                  These days, all too often they seem to be the same thing.

                                                                                2. It's a relatively free country, if you don't want to patronize their business don't.

                                                                                  1. Not a restaurant, but I do boycott certain food products. If I have my facts correct, as it has been a long time, the Fraternal Order of Police suggested a boycott of certain organizations and celebrities who supported the legal efforts of a convicted cop killer. As a result, I have not purchased Ben & Jerry's nor Newman's Own products for years.

                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: JTilCT

                                                                                      I feel the same way that they do about the convicted cop killer (I've researched the case pretty thoroughly) but I still like Ben & Jerry's and Newman's Own (though I don't eat processed foods very much because they make me fat).

                                                                                      When it gets to the point where I have to keep track of who is supporting Mumia then it has gone too far for me.

                                                                                      So long as the company does not discriminate in serving people or in hiring people then I'm not going to concern myself with the other stuff.

                                                                                      1. re: JTilCT

                                                                                        Ben and Jerry's is the only food product I can think of that I avoid because of their politics. I really prefer not to know, but once I went to their website innocently looking at nutrition facts and came away with an eyeful of nastiness. Wish I hadn't seen it, I'd be eating their new greek yogurt flavors now, most likely.

                                                                                        Other than that, though, I say live and let live unless they just throw it in your face. There was a breakfast place that had a lot of political stuff posted and held some party fundraisers there for Kucinich. My husband wanted to to strike it off our short list, but I gave him the old slippery-slope argument...what are you gonna do, start vetting every place you go? I prevailed, but he still calls it The Communist Cafe ;-)

                                                                                        1. re: danna

                                                                                          "but once I went to their website innocently looking at nutrition facts and came away with an eyeful of nastiness."

                                                                                          Would you mind telling what exactly the nastiness was or involved?

                                                                                          1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                            Unless one purposely clicks on the "activism" button (B&J seems to currently be supporting the Occupy movement), I didn't see any nastiness either..... save for their flavors, perhaps '-)

                                                                                            1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                              sorry, but I better not, i think any further discussion would lead too far into politics...but linguafood's report below certainly cements my opinion of b&j.

                                                                                            2. re: danna

                                                                                              Ben & Jerry's is currently owned by Unilever. Should one past owners' association with politics with which you disagree mean the boycott should continue once the product is manufactured and sold by an Anglo-Dutch multinational corporation?

                                                                                              Here is Ben & Jerry's corporate response on the topic of Mumia:

                                                                                              Found these links interesting:

                                                                                              Does Haagen Daz have any political leanings, besides saving the bees? http://www.helpthehoneybees.com/

                                                                                              1. re: prima

                                                                                                "does haagen daz...?"

                                                                                                EXACTLY!!! I don't want to know. Fortunately, I'm a big fan of the honeybees, but if prima had noted something I found horrendous....that would suck...because I absolutely adore HD. Thanks for the info on the new B&J...you may have opened my mind...and widened my behind....

                                                                                              2. re: danna

                                                                                                I am not a fan of their product, or their politics, but that is just me.


                                                                                            3. very interesting thread. I've avoided certain chains due to publicly held beliefs I find are contrary to my own... but as others have stated it coincded (for the most part) with a strong dislike for the food they offer.
                                                                                              I don't think that I'd boycott a place due to the scenario the OP posted - immature/insulting twitter comments - since that is the action of one or two individuals who may or may not represent the opinions of the owners (or even management0 of the establishment. At my hair salon is mostly the receptionist who posts on facebook I think - can't say for certain that the content has been vetted by the owner. :)

                                                                                              1. We either don't have the chains mentioned in the thread here locally, or I never go to them anyway, so that hasn't been an issue.

                                                                                                I have boycotted a retail establishment after hearing staff make very racial comments in conversation. If I heard something unprofessional from staff or management at a restaurant, or saw blatantly political, religious or discriminating signs or posters, I would stop going there.

                                                                                                And as for who on the staff posts to Facebook or Twitter - this person is the "public face of the establishment", and any posts in the restaurant's account name need to be professional and not cross that line.

                                                                                                1. I'm old. My parents were very liberal. pre-1964 we refused to patronize restaurants and other businesses that refused service to Negroes. 1964 brought the passage of the Civil Rights Act and we let law enforcement handle this now illegal discrimination. Post 1964 brought the evolution of Negro to Black to Afro-American to Black to African American. To me we're all just American.

                                                                                                  1. Yes, I vote with my dollars all the time.

                                                                                                    Do I know the leanings of each shop/restaurant I visit? Of course not, but when I do know, usually due to the very public actions of the owners or stated corporate policies, you bet I make that decision to not support attitudes I find offensive/don't comport with my values. And, of course, to actively support those that do.

                                                                                                    1. Maybe I do not follow the local news enough, but cannot recall having boycotted anyone.

                                                                                                      When I do "boycott," it is related to food/service.

                                                                                                      By the same token, I do not head to any restaurant, that is being boycotted, unless I just want to dine there.

                                                                                                      Guess that I think of restaurants in terms of culinary elements, and not social elements.

                                                                                                      Now, I have added restaurants to my "list," when they supported one of my charities, so that might be the "opposite."


                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                        What about if you were to learn that a restaurant's owner was actively working against a cause you support strongly? Might that affect your decision to eat there again?

                                                                                                        1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                          My partner says we should boycott the new restaurant near us because, when they were doing the construction work before opening a few months ago, they had election posters in the windows supporting a candidate who we strongly opposed.

                                                                                                          I say we should boycott the restaurant because the menu looks crap.

                                                                                                          Either way, there's no plans for us to eat there.

                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                            What if the menu interested you?

                                                                                                            1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                              Absolutely, I'd be going there if the menu interested. I may be dining on my own though - the partner being more principled and politically active than I (and less liking Turkish food)

                                                                                                              1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                                I am not gay, but I would absolutly boycott a place that was anti-gay. You stand up for what you believe in or you don't.

                                                                                                            2. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                              If I made such a discovery, I would weigh the situation, and then decide.

                                                                                                              I found a list of wineries, that sourced from Nancy Pelosi's vineyard, and ceased to buy from any of those.


                                                                                                          2. I've avoided the Bistro on Avenue Rd (chicken wing place) for a long time, due primarily to their relatively in-your-face pro-right wing and pro-cop signage (including a Ford for Mayor sign in the window more recently), but also due to the less than appetizing smell from the restaurant that permeates that strip of Avenue Rd. The few times I have eaten there with friends, the wings in no way lived up to the hype that seems to surround the place.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: gimel

                                                                                                              Now, right-wing, and pro-police might actually entice me to dine there.

                                                                                                              Different strokes,


                                                                                                            2. I vote with my wallet. I don't go out of my way to find out the political/social inclinations of all the businesses I patronize, but when I hear of one that is inconsistent with my own values, I'll take them out of the rotation. Sometimes that means not going back to a place that I really enjoyed in the past.

                                                                                                              I'm sure I patronize many businesses whose privately held social inclinations are different from my own, but as long as I'm ignorant of those differences, that's ok with me.

                                                                                                              1. As has been said, if the pizza at PJohn's was not complete crap, I wouldn't eat it because the owner is an a-hole.

                                                                                                                An increase of 13 cents per pie to pay for the health care costs of is work force and he's whining like this?

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: hambone

                                                                                                                  >>As has been said, if the pizza at PJohn's was not complete crap, I wouldn't eat it because the owner is an a-hole.

                                                                                                                  An increase of 13 cents per pie to pay for the health care costs of is work force and he's whining like this?>>

                                                                                                                  I just sent him an e-mail to complain about this. You can complain, too.


                                                                                                                  1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                    Complain about what? I either eat there or don't....end of story.
                                                                                                                    You actually think PJ's is going to be the only business to raise their costs because of health care costs?

                                                                                                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                                    My son is right there with you on this.

                                                                                                                  2. I boycott places all the time. I vote with my money. I can't imagine wanting to give my money to support people with values that conflict with mine. I have never found a restaurant that offered such an amazing meal -that it tempted me to forsake my values so I could eat it. That doesn't even make sense to me. I don't go out of my way to research businesses first, before I patronize them, but if I discover "they suck" IMO, then I don't go back and I encourage others to examine their values before spending their money there as well.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. No, because you will never find a restaurant where you agree with all their beliefs unless its your own. I may agree with certain issues but disagree with others. If they treat me well and the food is good, I'll go back.

                                                                                                                      1. Not about politics, but I won't eat at a restaurant (that we enjoyed the one time we ate there) because the chef/owner very obviously cut in line in front of me at a stand at the farmers market. Just rude.

                                                                                                                        1. Sort of off topic, but i quit going to a chinese Restaurant because they serve shark fin soup.

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                            I don't think that's off topic at all Troy, I would not go to a restaurant that served shark fin soup either.

                                                                                                                            1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                              I agree that it's not off topic. Not going to the restaurant because you don't like its version of shark fin soup is OT; not going because it's on the menu is exactly what the OP was asking about, IMO.

                                                                                                                            2. Another one for me are Craft Beer Bars were the ownership have no real passion for the product; they just know it as the new “hot” thing.
                                                                                                                              Typically they’ll feature:
                                                                                                                              1) no one who can speak intelligently about any of the beer other than which will “kick your ass”.
                                                                                                                              2) a “no samples” policy (so they can extract every dime out of the keg they bought)
                                                                                                                              3) a beer menu that’s 2/3rd’s DIPA and IS

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                                                +1 on this. I don't run into this as often as I did a few years ago, but it's frustrating when it happens. ("Well, it's kinda like Killians, only different.")

                                                                                                                              2. Makes perfect sense.

                                                                                                                                To expand beyond restaurants, there are certain Hollywood based actors/actresses/entertainers who are vocal about their opinions; whch I may agree with or not

                                                                                                                                It makes little impact on them, but I refuse to pay my $ to see those that I don't agree with; though they are very talented in their chosen field...

                                                                                                                                My loss..:)

                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: 9lives

                                                                                                                                  I was thinking about this thread today, and remembered a thread from several years ago on the Baltimore board. Some people had opened a restaurant and were participating in a vocational rehabilitation project. People who had completed drug rehab and other uneducated people were being trained for work in the foodservice industry -- not as dishwashers, but as chefs. However, one lady on Chowhound went ballistic when she discovered that the project was funded by the Soros Foundation, and vowed that she would never set foot in the place. I thought that was a really disturbing attitude given that this was a charitable, not political activity.

                                                                                                                                  I'm a little conflicted here. I have no problem boycotting Chik-Fil-A given their discriminatory attitudes. On the other hand, I regularly ate BBQ at a place where I strongly suspect that my politics and the owner's were miles apart, but they regularly donated to the Wounded Warrior Project, which I'm totally ok with. The idea that I would need to vet every movie, CD, restaurant or shoe shop for adherence to my political beliefs is ridiculous, and serves to drive us apart, not bring us together.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: 9lives

                                                                                                                                    That must really limit your entertainment choices.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                                      Not at all.

                                                                                                                                      Ironic post beinng that it comes from someone named "foie gras;" which has it's own built in bias re subject.

                                                                                                                                      Maybe I misread and you'r funning me..:)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: 9lives

                                                                                                                                        Maybe you only boycott Charlton Heston movies.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: TroyTempest


                                                                                                                                          I havent seen a new Charlton Heston movie in years..boycott? no

                                                                                                                                          I had some delicious "sharks fin dumpling" at a dim sum place recently..yum..:)

                                                                                                                                  2. I'm not sure its a political statement but apparently the Hooters in Rehoboth is a lesbian hangout. Certainly ironic if nothing else.

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. Cracker Barrel - I liked their grilled chicken on sourdough sandwich,
                                                                                                                                      I have not been there in about 15 years because they have a lot of issues with racist employees.

                                                                                                                                      It's odd considering I only see a CB off highway exits so it's not as if they're a Michelin star restaurant. Anyway, I would rather stop at Burger King if I'm on the road than eat there.

                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                                        I don't know what part of the USA you live in but I recently had the misfortune of eating at 1 in the SE, during a family vistit. Food sucked but I saw no evidence of racism...neither from a hiring or serving POV...not my first venture at CB

                                                                                                                                        1. re: 9lives

                                                                                                                                          I'm in the midwest, and CB has a bad rep here. I know most people do not believe what's on wikipedia, but I do remember a number of these reports regarding the company.

                                                                                                                                          Racial and sexual discrimination

                                                                                                                                          In July 1999, a discrimination lawsuit was filed against Cracker Barrel by a group of former employees, who claimed that the company had discriminated against them on the grounds of race.[59][60] Two years later, in December 2001, the same attorneys represented 21 of the restaurant's customers in a separate lawsuit, alleging racial discrimination in its treatment of guests.[61][62][63] Regarding both accusations, Cracker Barrel officials disputed the claims and stated that the company was committed to fair treatment of its employees and customers.[60][62][64]

                                                                                                                                          In 2004, an investigation by the US Justice Department found evidence that Cracker Barrel had been segregating customer seating by race; seating or serving white customers before seating or serving black customers; providing inferior service to black customers, and allowing white servers to refuse to wait on black customers.[65] The Justice Department determined that the firm had violated Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The company was required to sign a five-year agreement to introduce "effective nondiscrimination policies and procedures". The terms included new equal opportunity training; the creation of a new system to log, investigate and resolve complaints of discrimination; and the publicizing of its non-discrimination policies. They were required to hire an outside auditor to ensure compliance with the terms of the settlement.[66]

                                                                                                                                          In 2006, Cracker Barrel paid a $2 million settlement to end a suit alleging race and sexual harassment at three Illinois restaurants.[67][68] Following the suits, Cracker Barrel stores began displaying a sign in the front foyer explaining the company's non-discrimination policy,[65] and added the policy and details of how to make a complaint to its menu and website.[69]

                                                                                                                                          Since the early 2000s, Cracker Barrel has provided training and resources to minority employees, to improve its image on diversity. These efforts involved beginning outreach to minority employees, along with testing a training plan to help employees whose first language is Spanish to learn English.[49] As of 2002, minorities made up 23 percent of the company's employees, including over 11 percent of its management and executives.[50] Cracker Barrel is on the Corporate Advisory Board for the Texas Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP),[70] and is a corporate sponsor of the NAACP Leadership 500 Summit, where three of its officials were moderators and panelists in May 2011.[71] The company has been praised for its gender diversity, particularly on its board of directors, which includes three women out of eleven total board members.[72] Its chief executive officer, Sandra Cochran, is the second woman in Tennessee to hold that office in a publicly traded company, as of August 2011.[72]

                                                                                                                                          1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                                            The Justice Dept had this for almost 12 years..yet you still cling to the co's mistakes..9 Live out..from your quote:

                                                                                                                                            Since the early 2000s, Cracker Barrel has provided training and resources to minority employees, to improve its image on diversity. These efforts involved beginning outreach to minority employees, along with testing a training plan to help employees whose first language is Spanish to learn English.[49] As of 2002, minorities made up 23 percent of the company's employees, including over 11 percent of its management and executives.[50] Cracker Barrel is on the Corporate Advisory Board for the Texas Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP),[70] and is a corporate sponsor of the NAACP Leadership 500 Summit, where three of its officials were moderators and panelists in May 2011.[71] The company has been praised for its gender diversity, particularly on its board of directors, which includes three women out of eleven total board members.[72] Its chief executive officer, Sandra Cochran, is the second woman in Tennessee to hold that office in a publicly traded company, as of August 2011.[72]

                                                                                                                                            Permalink | Report | Reply
                                                                                                                                            By nikkib99 about 2 hours ago

                                                                                                                                      2. A total rightwing scuzzbag owns an expensive restaurant in La Jolla that CHer's love -- Addison. Doug Manchester, the owner, backed Prop 8 against gay marriage and he threatened his resort employees with serious consequences if Obama won the election. Addison could be the greatest restaurant on the face of the earth (and imo it's not. I ate there before I knew who owned it), but I will never eat there again. It seems a crime to enjoy very expensive food that makes an ignoble man grow richer.

                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: pickypicky

                                                                                                                                          Wow. I googled some of that Addison/Manchester stuff. Truly boycottworthy, especially the SD newspaper.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                                            Well, those jerkoffs do us a great service by being transparent about their opinions and motives.

                                                                                                                                            Something for which to be thankful.

                                                                                                                                          2. To the extent that the accumulation of money gives an entity power and influence to shape the world in which we live by the way that it gets invested or spent, I think it's important to spend with your conscience.

                                                                                                                                            If I know the management/ownership of a business holds thoughts and beliefs merely different from mine, I'll continue to patronize the place if I like the product. But if those conflicting thoughts and beliefs are ones I find immoral, inhumane, or unconscionable, and I come to find this out through reasonably reliable sources, I do my best to avoid the place.

                                                                                                                                            1. Folks, not surprisingly, this thread has continued to go down the path of users taking shots at other users for the businesses they do/don't patronize. We're going to lock it now.