Wendy’s: Intolerant of Free Speech in Support of Chick-Fil-A

Across the nation yesterday, Chick-fil-A stores were filled to capacity with patrons supporting the restaurant chain’s freedom of speech. In an interesting twist, the Wendy’s chain also got in on the action. An owner of more than 85 Wendy’s franchises in North Carolina, decided to show his support for Chick-fil-A with the following note on his stores’ signs: “We Stand with Chick-fil-A.” Wendy’s corporate offices were not amused.

The North Carolina owner, Jim Furmen, was apparently told by Wendy’s corporate stiffs to take down the sign and then went into defensive mode to deflect what they perceived to be negative publicity. Wendy’s corporate tweeted: “An independent franchisee posted the sign, which he’s taken down. We proudly serve ALL customers!” Kind of makes you wonder what “independent” means to Wendy’s corporate offices.

Wendy’s initial tweet set off a flurry of responses on Twitter, most of which were aimed at their statement about serving “all.” It was quickly pointed out that up until last week, Chick-fil-A was never known as being a restaurant that DID NOT “proudly serve all customers.” In fact, I can say without fear of contradiction that no customer who braved the crowds and long wait times at Chick-fil-A yesterday were asked by any company employee if they were for or against gay marriage. Chick-fil-A will “proudly serve” anyone who wants a chicken sandwich, regardless of personal beliefs or convictions, Wendy’s electronic protests to the contrary notwithstanding.

While the gay agenda-setters tried to spin the Chick-fil-A situation as being about marriage, the real issue is one of free speech and expression. Many supporters who came out yesterday were not necessarily expressing their views on traditional marriage, but on whether a company president has the right to speak his mind publicly and to answer questions from the media honestly. By forcing “independent franchisee” Jim Furmen to remove his signs, Wendy’s has shown that they will NOT tolerate the freedom of speech at their restaurants. They say they will “proudly serve ALL customers,” yet they will not allow their store owners to have the constitutional right to free speech. Who’s the bigot now?

What’s more is that Wendy’s may have stepped in it far more than they realize. As was already pointed out, the support for Chick-fil-A was not univocal. Many were supporting Chick-fil-A as a private entity over against a government one. Their presence and money were sending the message that political correctness can take a hike when it comes to private enterprise. By publicly isolating and distancing themselves from Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s has sent a message much louder than their intended message of “inclusiveness and tolerance.” Their intolerance to be counted among the Chick-fil-A supporters could very well affect Wendy’s economic bottom line. The overwhelming amount of eaters who waited patiently to spend money at Chick-fil-A yesterday are just as prone to not spend money at Wendy’s as they are to spend money at Chick-fil-A.

Further, if the long lines and open wallets are any indication of what America really thinks, the Democratic party could be in for a long campaign season. It has been said that time and money are the only two limited resources. If one is willing to work harder and more often (i.e. sacrificing time), more money can be made, which means that, in reality, time is the only true limited resource. We each have the same amount of it (unlike money) and we each choose how we will spend it. Since so many chose to spend their time and money yesterday in long lines at a fast-food restaurant, this should be an indication—rather than useless political polls and questionnaires—about what Americans really think. This should (but won’t) be a warning to the Democratic party, who have overwhelmingly chained themselves to supporting the gay agenda. Americans, when given the chance to “vote” with their time and wallets, have spoken. Is anyone listening?