Mary’s Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem is most definitely going to have a surge of customers angling to get a few dimes off their $11 home-fry scrambles now that word is out it offers a hefty 15 percent off the check whenever its servers see a customer “praying in public.” Echoing other random and impromptu discounts like the one for “well-behaved kids” — it’s only a matter of time before some plucky café rewards a customer for not cutting their toenails at the table, or for reading Infinite Jest, let’s hope — this one’s gone viral, getting national attention after initially being posted on a Christian radio station’s Facebook page.
The discount is apparently nondenominational: “It’s not really a ‘religious’ thing. It’s a gratitude thing,” the restaurant wrote on Facebook, in response to a question of who gets discounted breakfast platters. Because everyone is eligible except for ungrateful people, who make lousy customers anyhow, the real issue Mary’s Diner faces with its newfound popularity is having its servers work overtime to verify which of its customers are praying and which aren’t, which will no doubt be especially tricky during the brunch rush. There may also be customers who claim they’ve prayed but who weren’t observed in the act. In other words, money off the bill for “gratitude” might get chaotic, and fast. These are just worst-case scenarios, of course; let’s just hope everyone tips really well.