Food

After Its Receipt Went Viral On Facebook, A Restaurant Had To End Its 15% “Public Prayer” Discount

Many believed it was discriminatory.

1. This photo of a receipt went super viral on Facebook a few weeks ago. It was posted by a Florida radio station whose staffers were shocked when they noticed the receipt included a 15% discount for praying in public.

2. The receipt is from a restaurant in Winston-Salem, N.C., called Mary’s Gourmet Diner. Co-owner Mary Haglund said the discount was meant to inspire customers to be thankful.

3. As the photo of the receipt went more viral, more users started to weigh in on whether or not they felt like the discount was fair to non-religious customers. The local news interviewed Haglund.

4. The restaurant had been giving out the discount for the last four years and has never advertised it.

5. It also didn’t only apply to Christian prayer, but reflective mediation of any kind before the meal.

6. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based out of Wisconsin, put pressure on Haglund and the restaurant staff to end their prayer discount. From the foundation’s site:


Mary’s Gourmet Diner agrees with the Freedom From Religion Foundation that all of its customers should be treated equally instead of some being rewarded for praying in the restaurant in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Staff Attorney Elizabeth Cavell wrote an Aug. 4 letter of complaint after FFRF, a national state-church watchdog, learned that the diner had long been offering a 15 percent discount for “praying in public.”

Co-owner Mary Haglund emailed Cavell yesterday (Aug. 6): “I am notifying you & the FFRF that as of today we are no longer offering the 15% discount for Praying in Public.”

7. Haglund put on a statement on the restaurant’s Facebook page earlier this week, writing that the discount was never meant to discriminate, just a gift to thankful customers.

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