A diner on business travel received a 15 percent discount on her check for simply praying over her meal at a Winston-Salem, North Carolina restaurant Wednesday.
Jordan Smith stopped for breakfast with two colleagues at Mary's Gourmet Diner where they publicly prayed for their food, and later were surprised with the deduction.
" … The waitress came over at the end of the meal and said, 'Just so you know, we gave you a 15% discount for praying,' which I'd never seen before," said Smith, according to HLN TV. "The three of us at the table talked about how wonderful that is and what a cool thing it is that they do as business owners."
After leaving the restaurant, Smith posted a photo of her receipt on her Facebook page. Soon after, a Florida radio station reposted the image which went viral.
Mary's Gourmet Diner confirmed that they gave Smith the discount on their own Facebook page, and noted that although it is not a policy, they oftentimes offer the same courtesy to other diners.
"Yes, if we see you praying, you get 15% off your bill," they wrote on Facebook.
Despite the restaurant's generous gesture, a few people on HLN TV's website questioned whether their practice amounts to discrimination. Others asked if Muslims would get the same treatment.
"So if someone starts screaming "Allah Akbar" will they also receive a 15% discount. And if not would this be considered discrimination?," asked Nick M., a reader.
He added, " … This is a terrible idea. Imagine if Atheist restaurants started doing this. Giving 15% discounts for stating facts like "God answers the same amount of prayers as the Flying Spaghetti Monster". Would that really benefit society? So why the double standard?"
Another reader, Len Kivi asked, "I'm a war Veteran, how about a 20% discount?," and others questioned whether Smith's receipt photograph was a stunt made by the restaurant to lure in customers.
However, Smith noted that since posting her picture, the thousands of shares and likes on Facebook have surprised her.
"I just honestly posted it to my Facebook page and it's been really fun to see where it's gone from there," said Smith.
According to the restaurant's website, Mary's Gourmet Diner has been opened for four years but was previously known as Mary's Of Course!, a former family-owned and run café.