After refusing to serve President Donald Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia experienced a rash of online reviews.
According to a Mashable report, people bombarded Red Hen with Yelp reviews both positive and negative after the event came to light. The formerly five-star rated establishment dropped to about three stars.
On Friday night, Jaike Foley-Schultz, waited on Sanders and her family for a few minutes before his boss asked them to leave, according to the Inquisitr. Later, the Press Secretary confirmed the events on Twitter. She wrote, “Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.”
Since the story made national news today, the majority of the Yelp reviews do not comment on the restaurant’s food or service. They discuss the political views, which appears to violate the Yelp standards. Yelp’s own guidelines state, “Please make sure your contributions are relevant and appropriate to the forum. For example, reviews aren’t the place for rants about a business’s employment practices, political ideologies, extraordinary circumstances, or other matters that don’t address the core of the consumer experience.”
— Brennan Gilmore (@brennanmgilmore) June 23, 2018
Currently, the website’s Yelp page, which has 7,232 reviews at publication time, contains a notice across the top of the page. It reads, “this business is being monitored by Yelp’s Support team for content related to media reports.”
Yelp is conducting an “active cleanup” of the Red Hen’s page and warns that posts may be removed starting Saturday, June 23, 2018. Instead of posting politically motivated reviews on the restaurant’s page, Yelp invites community members to discuss the situation at its Yelp Talk forum.
The unexpected move by the small town restaurant drew strong opinions from both sides of the political spectrum. Many liberal-leaning people supported it while conservative people felt furious after hearing about it. Overall, the situation further illustrates the growing divide between the political parties in the United States as well as the extreme dislike many Americans feel for the Trump Administration.
The country is polarized, and there seems to be little hope of that changing any time soon. Last week, the Inquisitr reported that Sarah Huckabee Sanders might resign as press secretary in part due to stress and exhaustion, and no doubt being asked to leave a restaurant won’t help with that.