WASHINGTON, December 27, 2013 — After needlessly piling on to the A&E Duck Dynasty controversy last weekend, national restaurant chain Cracker Barrel learned the hard way what it’s like to be eaten for lunch.
The corporate chain has now done a public relations about-face after announcing last weekend that it would remove Duck Dynasty merchandise from its chain restaurant locations so as not to “offend” their customers.
It was as if Cracker Barrel didn’t know its own customer base.
For starters, the Cracker Barrel chain has a heavy presence throughout the Southern United States, where gay marriage is not popular. The chain boasts 58 restaurants in Florida, 54 in Tennessee, and 46 in Texas. It has dozens of locations in states which have passed Constitutional bans on gay marriage. Although the chain recently announced it will open its first location in California, restaurants are located predominantly in conservative rural areas, not in liberal, metropolitan population centers.
The numbers don’t lie, either. According to the investor relations kit on Cracker Barrel’s own website, the average customer check is $9.44 - not exactly the kind of bill generated by an upwardly-mobile, Double-Income-No-Kids (DINK) same-sex couple. Since its founding in 1969, the restaurant has prided itself on serving as a safe haven for traditional families on the road, with 84 percent of their locations strategically positioned just off our nation’s highway system. Think nuclear family in the family truckster traveling over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house this week.
The blowback against both A&E and Cracker Barrel this week shows that the “silent majority” in America is silent no more. The outcry sends a clear message to corporations thinking about jumping onto the bandwagon of political correctness: think before you leap.
Cracker Barrel should know that, apology or no apology, the damage is already done. The management have exposed themselves as weak, willing to join the politically-correct mobs who desire to rob us of our First Amendment right to free speech.
And for that, Cracker Barrel, you won’t ever see a dime from me.
In fact, you can kiss my grits.
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