It's all about getting vocal for Jason Bailey, owner of Parsley, a small, health-focused lunch spot in the Golden Triangle. Inspired by American Express protesters, Bailey and the Parsley staff decided to offer their first-ever promotion. But don't leave home without it if you want your free lunch, because Parsley will be cutting your AmEx card to pieces. "We keep our scissors sharp," says David Hanan, a member of the Parsley staff.
As a small-business owner, Bailey says he's seen the negative affects that big corporations are having on the economy. "American Express is a big, greedy bank that will take every penny that they can get," he explains. "They advertise 'fewer fees' and 'double the rewards,' but that couldn't be more opposite of the truth. The financial burden is falling on small business owners that are already working overtime and still struggling,"
Bailey thinks restaurants have a unique opportunity to make the world a better place, since they are visited by so many people every day. So he decided to take a grassroots approach to educating his customers to the evils of American Express's way of doing business.
He's not necessarily asking people to switch to cash-only, Bailey explains; bills and coins are cumbersome and dirty. But he'd like to see a card that is "not about the gimmicks," one that be a non-profit transfer of money directly from the customer to the merchant, taking banks out of the equation.
"At Parsley we stand for two things," he says. "Good food and social justice. And with the banks, there is no humanity there. It's just whoever has the most, takes the most. So how about we cut up AmEx cards and let them know how we feel?"
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Bailey would like to invite other local restaurant owners to join Parsley in this social-justice movement. In fact, he'll give them a free lunch in return for sitting down and discussing the promotional offer. They can even keep their AmEx cards...for now.