Home Business Small Biz Quiz: No Shoes, No Shirt, Wrong Politics… No Service. What...

Small Biz Quiz: No Shoes, No Shirt, Wrong Politics… No Service. What Would YOU Have Done?


Americans fight their political battles and air their political views in some pretty offbeat places at times – in the bedroom, in the parlor, at the Elks Lodge, and now, apparently, in the dining room of a Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, VA.

It’s a distinctly American thing, we think, as we’re lucky enough to be covered by some rather wonderfully written language protecting our right to air our views and express ourselves as we see fit.

But the battles fought to secure these rights appear far from over as new skirmish lines form up and Americans, once again, appear ready to stand up for what they believe in – no matter the consequences.

That’s American, too. It just remains to be seen where these new battles take us.

Today, the Viking Battle Horns of the Internet sound the call to action instead of a tinny bugle on Lexington Green or Gettysburg, and Americans on both sides of an issue form up to hurl invective or, in one recent case – chickenshit – at a person they see trampling their rights or views.

The Incident at Red Hen has been widely discussed and we don’t like going down the same old road here at NEWS24/680 so we’ll merely ask: What would you have done? Let’s take the current mosh pit of American politics out of it and make it a purely business-driven question:

You own a business. Someone who represents a position or agenda counter to yours or that of your employees walks in. What do you do?

The Comment Stream is open to everyone here, of course, but we’re particularly interested in hearing from small business owners who have either pondered the question we’ve posed or faced it in a real-world scenario.

What would you do?


  1. As a business owner, you have a right to serve (or deny service) to anyone you want – no questions asked. If you’re a WISE business owner, you won’t say “why” you’re denying service – just do it. You don’t owe ANYBODY an explanation. Make sure you’re NOT violating the law, and keep in mind you’re in business to make money. People have LONG memories, and word of mouth (and reputation) is EVERYTHING.

    Have I ever owned a small business? I have. Did I ever deny service? No comment.

  2. Say I am the owner of a restaurant let’s call it the Red Rooster-I know my employees and I care about them. My job is to support them. Most waitstaff will always push past all adversity thrown at them (they do it every night) but IF they are put in a position that has a direct conflict with what they morally feel I would give them the opportunity to remove themselves from direct service without reprocussions. IF all staff removes themselves from the service I would at that point communicate w/said guest and explain. I would assume at that point one would leave the red rooster on their own. My instinct would be to refuse service myself, but as the owner/boss I need to make a choice to focus the support on my staff not my own needs. I may have employees who are more than willing to serve and I wouldn’t take that from them.

  3. “None of all that fancy riding and roping you used to do ever made you quite as much a hero to me as when you were on the floor of Sarge’s burger joint. When you tumbled rearward and landed crashing into that pile of dirty dishes – you were at last My Hero.”

  4. Great clip. Great movie. And it was right — sometimes someone has to stand up and say “this is wrong.” When the day arrives when we stop standing up it’s over for us as a nation.

  5. Great question!! We used to own and operate a small diner that kind of looked like the one in this movie snip!!! We kept it open and friendly and never had to deny service to anyone even sending the drunks around back for a plate of egss or some coffee if they were too hammered to sit in a stool. We treated everyone with dignity and respect and that worked for us. But to your question – if the Red Hen was our place and someone walked in whose policies directly impact us or our employees we probably would have done what the owner did int his case – chickenshit hurlers or not. This is still America we think, and sometimes you have to take a stand.

  6. My business? My way. You would have to trample on my rights pretty hard but if you did you’d be out faster than we could boil a 2 minute egg.

  7. The owner calls the shots. I know you said to take current politics out but I was really surprised by how the GOP reacted to this incident as they have behaved pretty much the same way all along — the only difference is that no one in SHS party got sucker punched by a guy in a dumb red hat on the way out.

  8. My understanding is the owner polled her employees and they voted to reject the customer. As an owner I would have to go with that. I would have to support the people working for me.

  9. It would take a pretty big transgression to get someone ejected from a business I owned. Unfortunately we are in a age of big transgressions. Expect more of this sort of thing.

  10. I think the most controversial situation these days is the Christian bakery owner and the “wedding cake.” That’s a tough one.

  11. Interesting question – should we play the role of “Swiss Banker” and take money from all comers or do we adhere to a moral compass? I (personally) vote for the moral compass because I couldn’t live with myself if I took gold or art or personal belongings of others. You’re either in it strictly for the profit or for humanity and I hope humanity wins.

  12. How to say no to a customer? Let them know what you “can” do for them. A great degree of personal control…

Leave a Reply