Restaurant gives surprise discounts for “public praying”

August 3, 2014


Creative discount offered at a NC restaurant

In an effort to reward customers that are grateful, Mary’s Gourmet Diner in North Carolina began offering a 15 percent discount for “public praying,” according to Grub Street.

A customer shared their receipt on a local Christian radio station’s Facebook Page, which made the discount viral. The restaurant noted on the Page that the discount isn’t about who you pray to or whether you’re worshiping a higher power, rather the fact that a diner is expressing gratitude.

They state, “It’s not really a ‘religious’ thing. It’s a gratitude thing,” not linking the reward to any particular denomination or belief system.

Ultimately, deciding who is grateful is complex and subjective, and they explained on Facebook that the discounts are not a “policy,” rather “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 and push the busyness of the world away.”

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Of course, there will be customers that complain that because their server didn’t notice their heads bowed, they didn’t get a discount, and some will turn it into something ugly, but this move is unique, and worthy of attention from the public.

How you can emulate

Without excluding anyone, there are ways you can reward people for being generally good. Maybe it’s not prayer you reward, perhaps it is a surprise reward for clients that show kindness to your staff, or customers that go out of their way for other customers.

This formula works best when it is not publicized and is a surprise. What will you do to reward others for being good people?

UPDATE: That didn’t take long… Atheist group threatens lawsuit, restaurant pulls program.

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