Open Thread: You Have the Right to Make A Fool of Yourself…

(Ben Sargent via
Via Paul Constant, the Huffington Post reports that proud Galtian Denny’s franchisee John Metz has walked back his brave talk:

… Denny’s chief executive John Miller privately reached out to Metz to express his “disappointment” with the Florida franchisee’s controversial statements about Obamacare, which sparked a wave of backlash for the national restaurant chain over the past few days. Metz released a statement Monday night expressing “regret” over his statements…

Miller is rushing to put out the fire sparked by Metz’s controversial proposal to charge restaurant customers a 5 percent Obamacare fee. “Customers have two choices: They can either pay it and tip 15 or 20 percent, or if they really feel so inclined, they can reduce the amount of tip they give to the server,” Metz told HuffPost in an interview last week.

Some Denny’s franchisees have since dealt with angry customers, calls for a boycott and declining sales. A spokeswoman for Metz said he will not conduct more interviews.

Metz, whose RREMC Restaurants owns more than 30 Denny’s locations, said in a statement, “We regret that the statements we made may have been interpreted as representative of the Denny’s brand or of other franchisees, which they are not. Our stores do not have a 5 percent surcharge. Despite recent media coverage, RREMC Restaurants is committed to exploring viable and effective ways to deal with the changing economic climate, including the implementation of The Affordable Care Act. We have always been and will continue to be 100 percent dedicated to our employees and customers and will
work tirelessly to find solutions that are in their best interests. It is our intention is to fully comply with the law.”…

Shorter Metz: “Since I get all my information from Fox News and talk radio, I had no idea that spewing lies and idle threats might have real-world consequences!”

72 replies
  1. 1
    debit says:

    Allow me to emulate Nelson Muntz and say, “Ha ha!!”

  2. 2
    Todd says:

    Speaking of fools, Klo and her White Castle Slider stuffing…

  3. 3
    Jerzy Russian says:

    He (Metz) is still a dickhead, as far as I can tell.

  4. 4
    th says:

    is ted nugent dead yet?

  5. 5
    redshirt says:

    @th: Strangely silent on the Nugent Front, though, right? Could be.

  6. 6
    El Cid says:

    Papa John’s Pizza’s John Schnatter: I was misinterpretated. I love Obamacare. I quote from The Atlantic. This was all a messy misunderstanding.

  7. 7
    Mike in NC says:

    Who in their right mind would eat at Denny’s?

  8. 8
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Todd: Actually, it’s probably the most intelligent thing she’s pulled out of her ass in a long while. And it still ain’t very good.

  9. 9
    redshirt says:

    @Mike in NC: LOTR nuts. And drunk people at 2AM. OK, your question still stands.

  10. 10
    Anya says:

    @El Cid: So, it’s the Affordable Care Act all of a sudden? Two years from now the Republicans will take credit for Obamacare.

  11. 11
    burnspbesq says:

    The butler did it.

    In the Lahaina Civic Center.

    With the three-ball.

    Suck on that, Tarholes.

  12. 12
    Bnut says:

    My father’s first novel was published today. So proud of him. Fifty six and finally realizing his dream. And then I had a girl break up with me about 2 hours ago and found out I’m working Friday morning so I will have to go sans family on Turkey Day. First they send you to heaven…

  13. 13
    Felonius Monk says:

    From the comments over at TBOGG:

    “Schnatter” is also the sound you hear from the bathroom the morning after enjoying a delicious Papa John’s “Pizza”.

    You’ll Get Pie Delivered From The Sky When The Pizza Employee Dies

  14. 14
    khead says:

    I am not gonna eat out again for a while.

    Someone tell me which grocery stores are owned by wingnuts again…..

  15. 15
    Anonymous says:

    This story is quite late, but here goes:

    Ari Shapiro, NPR’s embed to the Romney Campaign, spoke at my school recently. He relayed the following story:

    At one point in the campaign, Mitt came to speak to the journalists — not a common event. Mitt was warm, friendly, articulate, and self-depreciating. However, he only spoke to the journalists under the condition that it was off the record. After the conversation, Shapiro spoke to a staff member, explaining that the campaign did Romney a disservice by not allowing them to write about it. The staff member replied, “If it were on the record, that Romney would have gone away.” Shapiro recalled thinking, “Sucks to be you.”

  16. 16
    Colleeniem says:

    @Bnut: Congratulations to your dad! & to you for supporting his dream :). Enjoy the day, you deserve it.

  17. 17
    jl says:

    Speaking of… well, I won’t use a mean word, he is a distinguished Senator, I haven’t seen this gem featured on BJ yet, though a commenter might have mentioned it.

    McCain: ‘Surprised’ By Report That DNI Removed Terrorism References In Rice’s Benghazi Talking Points

    Tom Kludt 4:09 PM EST, Tuesday November 20, 2012


    Well, too bad McCain can’t be bothered with briefings because of scheduling conflicts, because he knows he won;’t learn anything from them, because he knew all about it from the very beginning, because he needs more bookings, because shut up that’s why.

  18. 18
    Suffern ACE says:

    I’m falling in love with an album by a group called the Harana Kings. Haranas are a type of courtship song played outside the house of a fair maiden in the hopes that she’ll ask her parents to invite the gentleman inside for some supervised socializing and maybe allow her out for a stroll for a late night meal of Moons over Myhammy and coffee.

  19. 19
    Tonal Crow says:

    In other words, Go Galt on wingnuts’ bidnesses, because it works great!

  20. 20
    NonyNony says:

    “Since I get all my information from Fox News and talk radio, I had no idea that spewing lies and idle threats might have real-world consequences!”

    Isn’t it more like “Since I get all my information from Fox News and talk radio, I had no idea that more than half the country actually doesn’t agree with me”?

    Honestly that’s what I’ve seen in my wingnut family members and (remaining) co-workers – they honestly think that they are in the majority. These last two presidential elections have been major blows because of that fact.

  21. 21
    Rafer Janders says:

    All politics aside, did this idiot really announce out loud that he was RAISING his prices 5% across the board relative to his competitors?

    Business, how the fuck does it work?

  22. 22
    Anya says:

    @jl: Why is anyone listening to Grandpa Walnuts, after he embarrassed himself beyond redemption during the DADT repeal?

  23. 23

    Well. You can really tell corporate headquarters wrote that statement for Metz, can’t you?

    The phrasing makes sense to me. It is dull and uninteresting and they hope everyone will just forget.

  24. 24
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I was at a Denny’s once and waited 2 hours for my food. To be fair, I was in a group of 8, but still.

  25. 25
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    I think that’s part of the ‘they think they’re still a huge majority’ thing you see with these guys. He probably honestly assumed that there would be enough people who would eat there and pay more just to thank him for fighting the good fight, rather than just go to Burger King instead.

  26. 26
    jl says:


    I dunno, from what I saw of his wingnut media circus performance

    ” We have always been and will continue to be 100 percent dedicated to our employees and customers and will
    work tirelessly to find solutions that are in their best interests. ”

    just seem like words that would roll right from the core of Metz’ soul and out of his mouth, right?

  27. 27
    greennotGreen says:

    The ad I see under the open thread titled “You Have the Right to Make a Fool of Yourself” is for Cougar Life. How apropos.

  28. 28
    Suffern ACE says:

    @jl: what no sentence recommending that their customers stiff the waitstaff if prices go up?

  29. 29
    GregB says:

    Christ, Denny’s should not only insure their overworked employees they should offer free colo-rectal exams with every purchase of a Southern Slam.

  30. 30
    Redshift says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: I’ve had some perfectly okay meals at Denny’s in the past, but one did produce one of the best restaurant stories among my group of friends. Several friends were at a Denny’s and not getting particularly good service (though not terrible) — a bit slow, mistakes in the orders, etc. When the waitress brought them dessert, she leaned down and told them “It’s not very good, so I gave you extra.”

    No one there was ever able to figure out if she was trying to make up for the dessert being bad, or if she was annoyed at them for giving her trouble, and was punishing them by giving them more bad dessert.

  31. 31
    MikeJ says:

    @GregB: They don’t?

    I bet that “doctor” didn’t work for Denny’s at all!

  32. 32
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Who in their right mind would eat at Denny’s?

    Try the Denny’s in Baker, California (between LA and Vegas in I-15). That was the worst place I have ever been to.

  33. 33
    Radio One says:

    @El Cid:

    “Reading what has been written about statements I made on the effect of the Affordable Care Act on our franchisees reminds me of a quote from Lewis H. Lapham, former editor of Harper’s magazine”

    Jesus Christ. These fucking people. I’m almost hoping that Obama could find some way to run some of these companies into the ground (of course he won’t), because they are such craven snake oil charlatans that they are willing to quote Lewis Lapham, of all people for a pizza chain to quote, to make a ridiculously silly non-point.

  34. 34
    👽 Martin says:

    And once again the 1% learn who possesses all of the economic power in this country. We really should do this more often.

  35. 35
    Suffern ACE says:

    Jeepers. All the Dennys hate. I guess I’ll just go to the Waffle House where all gourmands get their grub.

  36. 36
    jl says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Waffle House > Dennys. And I am not even from the South.

    You can ask for any damn combination at a Waffle House, and if they have it, they will pile it up for you on the damn plate. At Denny’s they pretend like the grub is food, and it stinks even as grub. It’s a lose lose situation at Denny’s.

    Best thing about Waffle House, is in small towns you can stand on the main drag and estimate how big the town is from how many Waffle Houses you can see.

    Waffle House! F yeah!

    When I travel to the South, first thing I do is find me a Waffle House and get some grub. Typically I do that exactly once, but cannot imagine ever stepping inside a Dennys again, after a certain supposed ‘meal’ of ‘food’ I ate there some years ago.

  37. 37
    👽 Martin says:

    @jl: Meh. Nothing beats a locally owned diner. Socal, NYC, Wyoming – when the guy who owns the place is in the back cooking for you, it’s going to be better than any of those.

  38. 38
    Mike in NC says:

    @Jerzy Russian:

    Try the Denny’s in Baker, California (between LA and Vegas in I-15). That was the worst place I have ever been to.

    Well, I was stationed in San Diego in 1981 but didn’t have much of a chance to explore the local area, save an ill-advised venture into Tijuana.

  39. 39
    ant says:

    I like those pancake puppies ball thingies that they serve at dennys. Also, their chicken noddle soup is very good.

    As a truck driver, we see a lot of these things just lately due to the pilot truck stops buying out the Flying J truck stops. So now what used to all be Flying J restaurants are now all Dennys, cause Pilot refuses to run their own restaurants.

    The portions are about half the size of what a truck driver expects, and then there is about a 4 dollar extra charge on each meal compared to the competition.

    Ive stopped eating at Dennys quite some time ago. Too expensive.

  40. 40
    👽 Martin says:

    @Jerzy Russian:

    Try the Denny’s in Baker, California (between LA and Vegas in I-15). That was the worst place I have ever been to.

    Well, admittedly, every restaurant midway between LA and Vegas on I-15 is shit. Those places know they’ll have about as much return business as an airport terminal restaurant. Nobody lives there – it’s a pit stop economy.

  41. 41
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Jerzy Russian:

    Try the Denny’s in Baker, California (between LA and Vegas in I-15). That was the worst place I have ever been to.

    Yes, but how was the Denny’s?

  42. 42
    Geoduck says:

    My otherwise sensible cousin insists on eating at Denny’s, evidently because she knows what she’s going to get. (Insert joke here.) She even ate at Denny’s when she was visiting Texas, a place where, as I understand it, eating the local food is about 3/4ths of the reason for visiting.

  43. 43
    magurakurin says:

    what is it people always say about Denny’s, “nobody plans to go to Denny’s, it’s just where you end up?”

  44. 44
    Hal says:

    Despite recent media coverage…

    Seriously, you have to love this shit. Despite recent media coverage, in which the media reported exactly what I said, I’m not going to do the totally assholish thing I said I would.

  45. 45
    spoonman says:

    Money talks.

  46. 46
    YellowJournalism says:

    Some of the best times I had in high school were late night drama class cast parties at the local Denny’s, some of us sitting with stage make-up still caked on our faces or wearing remnants of our costumes. The place was a real dive that closed down in recent years and turned into some other crappy chain restaurant. The food made you sick into the next week, but you could sit there forever and the waitresses rarely have us a hard time as long as we weren’t too loud and tipped decently. We had a nasty waitress once, and my friends left their entire tip in a giant pile of pennies and nickels. It was the perfect place to have those long meaningful conversations that seem so deep and idealistic until life and reality kicks in. Or you could just gossip like crazy.

  47. 47
    CW in LA says:

    When I was a kid, on family road trips, we’d always stop at Denny’s, and my Dad would always get pissed off. But we’d still always stop at Denny’s.

  48. 48
    bemused senior says:

    This comment isn’t about Denny’s. It is about something that happened to me today. I was doing errands and ended up at the post office. The lady in front of me in the line began an extended conversation with the clerk, in which she was trying to present various papers (envelopes, e.g.) as id to see if mail was waiting in General Delivery. The clerks were politely telling her that she needed a picture ID to pick up GD mail. She asked how she could get it, they suggested the DMV, and she asked how she could get there on the bus. They didn’t know. By this time I was finished mailing my priority mail envelope, and I decided to offer her a ride to the DMV, which I did.

    In the car, she continued talking to me, and it became clear that she was homeless and pretty confused. We went ahead to the DMV, where she begged me to go in with her. I did this, and since we had no appointment, we had to get in the enormous line. Eventually got to the front, where it was not much of a surprise to find that you need a passport or a birth certificate to get a DMV ID and it costs $26, with no special procedure for poor people or crazy people. I whisked her out of the line to avoid being lynched by the folks behind us in the interminable line, and we went to see if she could get a library card (another suggestion by the post office clerks). Of course these don’t in fact have a picture, and also require a photo ID to get. But the nice librarians googled to find out how she could order a Minnesota birth certificate (we’re in California), and print us the address of the social security office, and after she refused to let me help her fill out the form, I dropped her off at the bus stop with a $20 bill for luck.

    This is a long winded way to say, how do homeless people do any normal activities of daily living without an address and without any ID? (Her’s had apparently been stolen when she was mugged at a shelter.) what should I have done to actually help this woman? This experience was very moving in a peculiar way.


  49. 49
    Interrobang says:

    @bemused senior: When I was in the system last a few years ago, the major priority the NGO staff had was getting people ID, followed by dental care. (Granted, I’m in Soviet Canuckistan, so health care is kind of a given, although you need a health card, and we’re back at ID again…) I’d say you did the right thing, and about as much as someone like you could reasonably do. I hope she can get connected somewhere.

  50. 50
    Interrobang says:

    @bemused senior: When I was in the system last a few years ago, the major priority the NGO staff had was getting people ID, followed by dental care. (Granted, I’m in Soviet Canuckistan, so health care is kind of a given, although you need a health card, and we’re back at ID again…) I’d say you did the right thing, and about as much as someone like you could reasonably do. I hope she can get connected somewhere.

  51. 51
    Yutsano says:

    @magurakurin: That sounds about right. And in my little college town there was literally nothing else open late at night that wasn’t a bar. And that doesn’t help with underage group members. I still have Standard Denny’s Formula 1: two creams, two sugars. It made the coffee at least somewhat palatable.

  52. 52
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Franchise owners do seem to have a habit of thinking that they’re Fortune 500 CEOs when all they run is a dozen breakfast joints under a corporate umbrella.

  53. 53
    Thoughtcrime says:

    Take paradise and put in the bacon bits

  54. 54

    Back in my bar band days, we almost always stopped at a Denny’s after the gig. In most places, it was the only place open. Had some great times. But now I live in LA and I got Norm’s, so who needs Denny’s?

  55. 55
    sm*t cl*de says:

    No-one could have possibly imagined that there would be negative outcomes from announcing that you despise both your staff and your customer base.

  56. 56
    Joey Maloney says:

    @jl: Not only that: although Waffle House top management is generally wingnutty these days, they were very progressive during the civil rights struggle. At a time when most restaurants were strictly segregated and fighting to remain so,

    In 1960, when civil rights demonstrators were picketing many Atlanta businesses, many other businesses closed, but when [owner] Rogers saw demonstrators gathering outside a Waffle House, he walked outside, and invited the demonstrators to come in and eat.[5]

  57. 57
    Elizabelle says:

    @👽 Martin:

    One very good cafe between LA and Vegas:

    The Mad Greek in Baker, CA. Good food, beautiful strawberry shakes; the coffee is fine.

    Why would anyone go to Denny’s when you could eat at the Mad Greek?

  58. 58
    Cmm says:

    I like IHOP. But I eat at Waffle House often during work. The staff is very sweet and like to have a uniformed presence during the wee small ideal for robbery hours, so they keep the coffee refills coming. Also, they are great for entertaining fight calls on late Friday and Saturday nights. Once got a call about a fight and got there to find all parties had unassed, the only evidence of their passing was a whole waffle sliding slowly down the front window where it had been thrown during the fight.

  59. 59
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @bemused senior: I don’t know. It’s fucking impossible. I have a friend who was homeless of late. Getting her set up and papers and stuff was exhausting. Fortunately her old state ID turned up and was mailed to her by some people she used to crash with, so she was able to get a job. We still don’t have birth cert. Abusive parents, no help that route. State apparently didn’t accept first application to get the BC. Without that document, no Florida ID for you.

    The whole system sucks but good luck reforming it as long as Republicans think making it impossible to get state ID to get bennies OR A FUCKING JOB THAT’S LEGIT (my homeless friend was getting money making fetish videos online, unfortunately that does not pay the rent) is their path to electoral success.

    People are fucking shits. The end.

  60. 60
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Cmm: I’m glad you enjoy the fight calls or find them funny. I’m on the other side of it, calling the fuzz down. Really nothing I hate more than hearing raised voices over the radio. Feel bad sending the rookies down there, and it’s always rookies because our dumbfuckistan refuses to pay shift differential.

  61. 61
    DLew On Roids says:

    What I’d give for the audio of the phone call between Denny’s lawyers and Metz. I expect it included thing like:

    “If you refer to Section 6.4 of the franchisee agreement, you’ll note the clauses regarding conduct damaging to the Denny’s brand. As you’ll note in Section 6.7, Denny’s has the right to withdraw franchising without compensation from franchisees who engage in such conduct.”



    “Mr Metz, you will be receiving via email a statement that you will release to local and national media immediately. You will not edit or amend the statement in any way, or your franchise rights will be withdrawn. Do you understand?”

    “Yes, sir.”

  62. 62
    1badbaba3 says:

    @Suffern ACE: Reportedly Kid Rock luvs him some Awful Waffle. And yes it is it’s own punchline, litterally.

  63. 63
    J R in WV says:

    I’m glad to see this crusty scum realize that nearly all his Denny’s in Florida are near some other fast food joint. There is no cost to his ex-patrons when they decide to turn left instead of right going into the parking lot.

    The curve of income probably looked like the curve of Willard’s popularity after his 47% speech to the contributors. Good thing Willard didn’t realize that number was backwards, and 47% was the number of people he could fool at the time of the election.

    Schadenfreud[sic]; how the hell do you spell it? Tastes as good however it’s spelled!

  64. 64
    gelfling545 says:

    @bemused senior: You may have done everything she would allow you to do. I am doing some work for people who work with the homeless. Giving assistance can be a very delicate balancing act between giving meaningful help and infringing on a person’s dignity & independence. Most people in the field try to help with the most immediately pressing need (crisis) and offer to be of further help should the person desire it. That sounds like what you did.

  65. 65
    Bulworth says:

    Shorter Metz: “Since I get all my information from Fox News and talk radio, I had no idea that spewing lies and idle threats might have real-world consequences!”

    No one could have predicted….

  66. 66
    Ed Drone says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Nothing beats a locally owned diner.

    Then again, when the family was taking a vacation in Colorado and we decided to try the restaurant/diner next to the motel rather than driving any more that day, I actually got a greasy spoon along with my pretty disappointing meal, and I was what, 16, and a hollow-legged-never-filled-eat-anything-and-ask-for-seconds teenager, too.

    A genuine greasy spoon. I should have stolen it and put it on display or something.


  67. 67
    Ed Drone says:

    @bemused senior:

    how do homeless people do any normal activities of daily living

    “I guess his name was Boomer Bill,
    If that won’t do, another will —
    A hobo doesn’t need a name,
    ‘Cause he never gets no mail.”

    (from “Queen of the Rails” by U. Utah Phillips)

    [From the “everything is a song cue” file of my memory.]


  68. 68
    Cmm says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    There are definitely scary awful fight calls. Just not usually at La Casa del Waffle. It is usually drunken stupid people who disappear when they know the police have been called or stay around and end up leaving with a trespass warning or occasionally in the back of our cars. Mostly harmless but of course you never know.

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mike in NC:

    When you’re driving from Los Angeles to Phoenix and you have to stop in Blythe for some lunch, it’s either Denny’s or Carl’s Jr.

    IOW, road trips.

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:

    @👽 Martin:

    We liked Peggy Sue’s Diner outside of Barstow the last time we drove to Vegas. I think I still have a picture of myself in the “dinosaur park” that has sculptures made by local artists.

  71. 71
    LanceThruster says:

    @Ed Drone:

    Surveys show the number one advantage of a chain is consistency as even if the fare is less than stellar, it’s not the surprise of a truly horrible indie establishment.

  72. 72
    daverave says:


    I’ve been to that Greek place several times on my way into the Mojave desert or Death Valley. It’s OK, no doubt better than Denny’s, great shakes for sure, but often overcrowded. If it is, we go to the hole-in-the-wall Mexican places across the street.

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