A Subway restaurant in Angers, France is making headlines after its owner started a bit of a public relations storm on Valentine’s Day. The owner of this particular Subway shop decided that a Valentine’s deal for couples would be a good way to drum up business. The problem is that the owner only extended the deal to hetero sexual couples.
France has long had a reputation for being rather liberal when it comes to romance. That reputation is so renowned that when a 30-year-old British teacher decided to run away with his 15-year-old student, he ran away to France. The country is also in the process of making it legal for gay couples to marry and adopt children.
In this Subway restaurant, the fact that the “Marriage for All” act is moving through France’s Senate seemed mean the owner had one last chance to let his political views be known. According to the Huffington Post the owner wrote a note on a sign on the front of the restaurant’s door that read:
“Discrimination: No, the marriage for all law has advanced, but has yet to be ratified by the Senate. Until then, I’ll use my freedom of expression.”
Once people started taking pictures of the sign and posting them on various social networking sites, other Subways began getting blowback. According to the French language newspaper, Ouest-France other restaurants began issuing statements showing that they did not agree with this restaurant owner’s decision.
Subway Restaurants’ corporate headquarter had to get involved in the situation before all was said and done. After numerous people complained, the corporation took to their official Facebook page where they issued a denouncement of the move:
“As we have indicated in response to many posts yesterday: the SUBWAY ® brand is strongly committed to maintaining the values of diversity and integration in its restaurants around the world and does not endorse any discrimination of any kind.
We apologize to all persons is being felt offended by the individual initiative of promotion for Valentine to a restaurant in Angers in France.
All SUBWAY ® restaurants owned by franchisees and are managed independently. We work with the owner of the restaurant in order to reinforce our values and our company policy.”
Did Subway Restaurants staunch the flow of negative attention with this move?