Restaurant chains: Putting your money where their mouth is?

Chick-Fil-A was recently voted the third most beloved restaurant chain in the U.S. However, in 2009, the chain’s charitable foundation donated nearly $2 million to organizations with anti-gay agendas including: Marriage & Family Legacy Fund ($994,199), National Christian Foundation ($240,000) and Focus on the Family ($12,500). While the president, Dan Cathy, stated, “We’re not anti-anybody,” it seems the chain has put its money where its mouth is.  But being that their money comes from us, how should we react?

I’ve seen the bumper stickers that read: “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention,” and I’ve thought it was a little, I don’t know… extreme. Seems like kind of a downer to remind every person that tailgates you that they should be pissed about something. But in some cases the phrase can be a helpful reminder that holds true.

Granted, I don’t know all the legal intricacies of corporate donations, but I’m pretty sure Chick-Fil-A isn’t doing anything wrong…legally. But are we being taken advantage of, even just a bit? Perhaps.

For one, they may be profiting from the fact that Americans view fast food like zombies view brains.

America has a bit of a love affair with food. Fast food. Fat food. Ok, we’re pretty much addicts. No, that’s not hyperbole, folks. One study shows that “high-fat, high-calorie foods affect the brain in much the same way as cocaine and heroin.” (And I thought my affair with Kettle Chips was ignited by true love…) So perhaps our judgment when it comes to fast food is a bit skewed. We want our fix. Now. The price at which it comes…well, maybe we just don’t care.

I haven’t found any evidence that Chick-Fil-A’s profits have been hurt by backlash from their anti-gay donations. But somehow, sadly, I doubt much of a dent will occur. Americans love fast food. It seems we turn a blind eye to the calories, fat content, animal by-products and supported agendas, all for the love of greasy deliciousness.

If I lost you at accusing Chick-Fil-A of taking advantage of our nation of addicts, at the very least, may we agree that they’re using our ignorance to their advantage?

In our society there’s a lot of funneling of money going on, we know this. But it just doesn’t seem to be a concept that enters our minds when it comes to the realm of fast food. We prefer to assume that what’s in front of us is a simple, greasy and delicious chicken sandwich with zero social implications. It’s easier that way, I’ll admit it. It’s fast food. You don’t want to have to stop and think about the strings that are attached.

By buying a quick, lovely chicken sandwich you may be voting with your dollars to support a cause you hadn’t intended to. Our society would likely benefit from pausing for a moment to think about where exactly our money is going. We should hold restaurant chains accountable for where they’re putting our money. Even if that means leaving our cravings for a Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich unsatisfied.

So, should we be outraged? Maybe so.

 

(Photo by bigevil600 found here.)

3 thoughts on “Restaurant chains: Putting your money where their mouth is?

  1. Travis says:

    Dawn – I totally agree. Admittedly, I do make a lot of choices about where I spend my money based on the culture and politics of the places I shop. But what better way to support the people and organizations that support what’s important to us?

  2. Steve says:

    You make a good point, but I have a suspicion that the quality and price of a product is going to trump politics. I think most consumers have a hard enough time finding a good product for an affordable price without having to determine the politics of the seller as well. Definitely, “food” for thought though.

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