Cracker Barrel has heeded to an old adage: The customer is always right.
Late Sunday, the Tennessee-based restaurant chain, which has 625 locations in 42 states, reversed course and said it would resume selling “Duck Dynasty” merchandise.
Customer outcry, the company said, forced it to reevaluate its decision to stop carrying merchandise from the popular reality TV show after controversial comments made by the show’s star in a recent magazine interview.
“You told us we made a mistake,” the company said on its Facebook page. “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. We listened. Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores.”
The company had previously said it would stop carrying “Duck Dynasty” merchandise after Phil Robertson, 67, the show’s patriarch, was suspended from the series for remarks he made about gay people and blacks.
In an interview with GQ, Robertson called gay people “homosexual offenders” and equated gay sex with bestiality. He also said that he “never” saw blacks mistreated in the pre-civil-rights era. “No one was singing the blues,” he said.
Cracker Barrel’s reversal came just two days after the company announced it had removed selected items that might “offend” some guests. That sparked the barrage of protests from some restaurant customers.
Customers on social media quickly cheered Cracker Barrel’s change of heart.
One patron wrote: “Thank you for the apology. I ask that in the future you steer clear of the PC police. Being PC will always have the opposite effect of its intended purpose. I will now return to your restaurant.”
One woman said: “OK at least your company has admitted their mistake. Now if A&E will.”