A sign on the door of a Wisconsin Dairy Queen location that says “In God We Trust” is generating business and controversy after a customer visiting from out of town posted a picture of the sign to Dairy Queen’s national Facebook page.
“This restaurant is politically incorrect,” the sign reads, warning potential customers that staff will say “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Easter” to patrons, and will offer veterans free sundaes on Veterans Day.
The sign also says “In God We Trust,” a phrase that has been the national motto of the United States since 1956 and is printed on U.S. currency.
Customer Ashley Coleman, who visited a Kewaskum, Wisconsin, Dairy Queen location, posted a picture of the sign to Dairy Queen’s national Facebook page September 6, complaining that the sign was “extremely offensive”:
WFRV reports that Coleman was visiting from Oregon when she saw the sign.
Kewaskum Dairy Queen owner Kevin Scheunemann said he put the sign up four years ago because he wanted to be “transparent” with his customers about the store’s views.
“I felt the sign was appropriate to hang in terms of being transparent about the views of the owner and staff supporting God and country,” said Scheunemann. “It just seems that those kinds of values and principles are becoming controversial in society.”
WDJT reports that Scheunemann posted the sign after a customer got upset at the Christian music being played inside the store.
There was another instance where a customer did not like the store’s policy of giving free ice cream to veterans. Scheunemann responded to the unhappy customer by offering to speak with anyone who took issue with the sign.
He even took things a step further and said he would “make arrangements” for potential customers to come into the store without seeing any references to “God” or “country.”
Other business owners in town have supported Scheunemann, saying that he has a right to run his business how he wants.
“He posted it on the door so you see it before you walk in,” said April Serwe, who owns local bar PJ Magoos. “You don’t have to walk in if you don’t agree with it.”
Despite the backlash Scheunemann’s been receiving now that his sign has gained national attention, other customers have supported him. One man came down from the Cincinnati area to take a picture with him.
A spokesperson for Dairy Queen’s corporate office released a statement saying it “does not encourage” franchisees to post “non-business related messages” in their stores and asks that franchisees and owners treat customers with “respect”:
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.