Restaurants serve side dish of politics, religion

The menu check has become the answer to the prayers of a couple of restaurant owners who have a point to make beyond getting paid for the food.

In North Carolina, a restaurant has added a 15 percent discount to the bill if the wait staff sees you praying over the food.

Supporters and opponents of the idea have been battling it out — of course — on Mary’s Gourmet Diner’s Facebook page:

There’s a lot of craziness going on in regard to the 15% discount. I will not respond to all the posts. I will say that it is not a “policy”, it’s a gift we give at random to customers who take a moment before their meal.

This could be prayer or just a moment to breathe & push the busyness of the world away. Who you talk to or meditate on etc. is your business. I have lived in a 3rd world country, there are people starving.

We live in a country with an abundance of beautiful food. I NEVER take that for granted. It warms my heart to see people with an attitude of gratitude. Prayer, meditation or just breathing while being grateful opens the heart chakra. It’s good for everyone!!!!

Thanks to my local community for your support…you know who I am. As for all the people posting negative comments about me & my restaurant who have never met me or been to the restaurant, thanks for sharing, it’s your right to speak out, just as it is mine. Peace, love & happy eating!!!!

Meanwhile, the liberal Bluestem Prairie blog says the Oasis Cafe in Stillwater has started adding a minimum wage charge to its meal tickets.

Bluestem Prairie

It, too, is defending its practice on its Facebook page.

With regards to why we’re charging a $.35 fee to cover the recent $.75 increase in in minimum wage…we estimate the increase in labor cost will will cost our company more than $10,000 per year…which has to be offset by an increase in revenue in order to operate profitably.

Rather than increase the prices of our menu items, we chose to charge a flat fee. If the state of Minnesota would pass tip credit, like 43 other states have done, none of this would be necessary.

For what it’s worth, we pay our people very well. Our dishwashers start at $10/hour, our cooks start at $12/hour and our servers average more than $20 when you consider what they earn in tips.

(h/t: Mike Olson)