After inadvertently infuriating Duck Dynasty fans, Cracker Barrel is hastily restoring order to its restaurant chain universe by putting products featuring the Robertson clan back on its shelves.
The home-cooking-style eatery yanked selected Duck Dynasty-related items from its stores on Friday in an effort to avoid offending customers after patriarch Phil Robertson’s inflammatory comments to GQ magazine about gays and blacks. But the company’s move outraged many Duck Dynasty supporters, who bombarded the company with messages slamming the move.
On Sunday, Cracker Barrel rolled over, posting a new message on its Facebook page: “You flat out told us we were wrong. We listened. Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores. And, we apologize for offending you.”
In retrospect it’s surprising that Cracker Barrel risked drawing attention to itself by yanking the products amid such a heated controversy and then double downed by publicly defending the move. Since the company already carried a line of products featuring the popular duck call family along with meatloaf and catfish dinners in the first place, one would think executives would have known which side of this debate many of its customers were likely to be on.
Here’s Cracker Barrel’s full statement:
Dear Cracker Barrel Customer:
When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done.
You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong.
Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores.
And, we apologize for offending you.
We respect all individuals right to express their beliefs. We certainly did not mean to have anyone think different.
We sincerely hope you will continue to be part of our Cracker Barrel family.