As more and more restaurant owners and operators find themselves directly or indirectly involved in politics from a business standpoint, it oftentimes comes with a risk. In recent events, some restaurateurs have been receiving backlash for hosting political fundraisers, press conferences, or campaign events for candidates, even though they do not publicly endorse the candidate. Restaurants are managing their day-to-day business and should not be lashed out at for serving certain individuals or groups of a community or political stance. The definition of hospitality is the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.
And while there are some restaurateurs who speak publicly on a candidate or certain issues, that is their right, as well as a customers’ right to voice their opinion. The restaurant industry celebrates the right for employees or customers to share their views and would probably even be open and willing to having a civil debate—over a good meal, of course. But our disappointment lies when people take it too far. We are hopeful for a change in how people react and communicate when it comes to diverse viewpoints.
Diversity is worth fighting for and we believe in accepting people of all different backgrounds. What makes this country so great is that we are a melting pot of all different walks of life. And regardless of color, gender, wealth or sexual orientation, everyone should have the same rights and be treated as equals.
At the end of the day, restaurateurs are just here to feed everyone. That is the make-up of their business. Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, liberal, black, white, purple or an alien, restaurants just want to serve up a good meal. Political participation is key to voicing your opinion and shaping the world we live in, but inclusiveness and understanding another person’s perspective is just as crucial.