Cracker Barrel apologizes for pulling Duck Dynasty merchandise
Cracker Barrel has apologized to its customers after pulling Duck Dynasty merchandise. The casual restaurant chain decided to stop selling certain Duck Dynasty-branded products after Phil Robertson made controversial comments about gay people and black people in an interview with GQ magazine.
The company posted a statement on its Facebook page on Friday:“Cracker Barrel’s mission is Pleasing People. We operate within the ideals of fairness, mutual respect and equal treatment of all people. These ideals are the core of our corporate culture.
“We continue to offer Duck Commander products in our stores.
“We removed selected products which we were concerned might offend some of our guests while we evaluate the situation.
“We continually evaluate the products we offer and will continue to do so.”
But Cracker Barrel’s executives backpedaled less than 48 hours later after customers berated the company for the decision. The company apologized to its customers on Facebook on Sunday.
“Dear Cracker Barrel Customer:
“When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done.
“You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong.
“Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores.
“And, we apologize for offending you.
“We respect all individuals right to express their beliefs. We certainly did not mean to have anyone think different.
“We sincerely hope you will continue to be part of our Cracker Barrel family.”
The first post received just over 4,000 likes, but the subsequent apology note had over 48,000 likes.
Facebook user Suzanne Sawyer Hines commented, “Whoever made this decision should be FIRED!!!!! think about your TARGET audience and consumers. You’re in the Bible Belt. Way to cower to the GLADD community. The last few (hundred) times I ate at your restaurant, I saw traditional families and older couples. I’m officially done with your place.”
Cracker Barrel has over 600 stores in 42 different states. It is headquartered in Lebanon, Tenn.
Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark