A customer complaint on Facebook has brought nationwide media attention – and political controversy – to a Dairy Queen in Kewaskum, Wisconsin.
It's because of a sign on the restaurant's front door:
According to the location's owner, franchisee Kevin Scheunemann, the sign has actually been up for the last four years, but didn't become a problem until a week ago.
Scheunemann tells GoMN that "a student from Oregon" took a picture of his sign and posted it to the official Dairy Queen Facebook page last Wednesday, triggering a huge thread of comments (which has seemingly since been deleted).
The student's complaint said the "politically incorrect" warning was "extremely offensive," and demanded the company "deal with (the) franchise owner," Scheunemann said.
Since then, DQ has continued to get comments about the Kewaskum store, most of them in support of Scheunemann and his sign:
For its part, Dairy Queen responded to the controversy with the following statement:
"American Dairy Queen Corporation does not encourage our independently owned and operated franchisees to post non-business related messages in their locations or on their external reader boards. This sign expresses the views of this independent owner only and does not speak for ADQ Corporation or any of our other independent franchise owners. We expect our franchisees and employees to treat every person who walks through our doors with the utmost dignity and respect. Nothing less is acceptable."
No such thing as bad publicity...
Though the company's response seems to make clear that the Kewaskum DQ is on its own, the firestorm has apparently been great for business.
The store is a "huge tourist landmark at this point," Scheunemann says. "I got people driving hours to take a picture with (the) sign."
And yes, he plans to keep it up.
That said, he tells GoMN he's been in touch with the corporate headquarters in Minneapolis, responding "dutifully" to a request for basic facts about the case, and providing "the history and the goodwill value it represents to my location."
The sign, by the way, was originally put up after Scheunemann received a complaint from a customer upset about the Christian music playing inside the store, CBS 58 reports.