Religious Discounts at Denny's and Elsewhere

According to James Randi Educational Foundation blogger Jeff Wang, a Euless, Texas Denny's offered a 10% discount and a 10% donation to the church of any customer who attended that church. When Wang asked how a non-believer might take advantage of the offer, the Denny's crew was stumped. (see the flyer)
ME: I'm wondering how the millions of people like me who don't attend church can take advantage of this offer. MANAGER: I'm sorry, you can't. It's for people who go to church.

ME: With this promotion, Denny's is encouraging people to go to church. Is that right?

MANAGER: No, it's just a way to bring in more business.

ME: How is this different from offering a discount to white people?

(I'm aware that there are differences between racial discrimination and religious discrimination, and this probably wasn't the wisest thing to say. However, it is what I said.)
Wang followed up with letters to Denny's corporate offices, including an assertion that the practice may violate 1964 Civil Rights Act: Title II.

A bit ago, he was contacted by Montreal freelance writer Josef K. Radomski, who brought some history of the problems of religious-based discounts.
I've been following your story about Denny's on Twitter today and just saw your Swift post. It spurred me to put my old journalism hat on and do some research on other cases like this, given this is a serious issue. I don't know what the outcomes were, but here is some raw material for you: (...)

The Southland Church in Valdosta, GA has a promotion on its website offering a 15% discount at specific Papa John's location with their church bulletin. (...)

Meanwhile, the King, NC Chamber of Commerce is promoting a special at the Tokyo Japanese Grill and Sushi where a church bulletin gets you 10% off your order

PS: I don't think you overreacted in any way.

(posted on my blog:

Views: 39

Comment by noisician on July 26, 2009 at 10:40pm
Imagine the firestorm if some business offered a discount to anyone who would renounce God !


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