Religious Intolerance in the Confectionary Industry?

In previous blog entries we covered fake chocolate and companies whose customers are saying their credit card information was shared without permission (resulting in unauthorized monthly charges).

Counterfeit products, false advertizing claims and credit card scams are things the public hears about every day, but as we was researching the many online complaints about Edible Arrangements we found something more disturbing:

Religious Intolerance.

Edible Arrangements is a franchise system, similar to many restaurant chains, the stores are owned by individual operators and the overall concept/franchisor is owned by someone else.

A few months ago 170 franchises filed a lawsuit against Edible Arrangements International, Inc, some of the things listed in the lawsuit are the type things you’d expect,

  • changes in mandating suppliers,
  • forced software purchases (which have to be made from a company the CEO controls),
  • forced customer list sharing (privacy concerns with that one),
  • changes in the payment percentage to the individual stores for internet orders (they lost 80% of the payment),
  •  changes in mandatory days the stores are open…

 

All valid and fairly normal grievances.  When I looked into the last change I found some things that disturbed me.

Edible Arrangements International (the parent company or franchisor who also runs DippedFruit.Com) is run by Tariq Farid, a  U.S. citizen  who was born in Pakistan.   Our biggest concern is best described by the following quote from a franchisee:

 “They have now released new hours mandating we have to be open on Sundays, however they allow” … “ Muslim owned stores to be closed Friday. Christian owned stores are told they have to be open on Sunday…NO EXCEPTIONS will be made. This is Religious Discrimination!”

We have a problem with this, this is America, the same rules need to apply to everybody. If one religious group must have their stores open on their holy day then the same should apply to other religious groups as well. When a company discriminates against store owners of a particular faith then something is wrong with the mindset of the discriminators.

For many Christians Sunday is not a “mandatory” day of rest, there are some Christians who observe on Saturday and I seem to remember that there was even a religious group who observed on Wednesday. Some Christians can go to services on Saturday night and have it “count” as Sunday…  but that is not the point, having one set of rules for people of one faith and a different set of rules for people not of that faith is un-American, divisive and only serves to create ill will.

To us the day of the week does not matter, if you are showing favoritism towards one group by allowing them to close on their day of observance then the same rules need to apply to people of all faiths.

Personally we don’t care that Mr Farid is Muslim, that’s not the point: the point is that he is setting rules retroactively, rules that discriminate against people of other religious faiths.

Online sources:
http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/edible-arrangements-franchise-c335037.html
http://www.franchisepublicity.com/edible-arrangements-franchisor-responds-to-franchise-lawsuit/

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