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On Saturday tea partiers protested Outback Steakhouse in Crystal Lake, Illinois, for allegedly firing a waitress for wearing a yellow “don’t tread on me bracelet.”

According to Megan Gellar, who had worked at Outback for three years, on October 6, a customer became angry when she noticed Geller wearing the bracelet. She says the customer grabbed her arm and then demanded to know where the bracelet came from. Geller said she tried to politely brush off the question, but the customer insisted on an answer. When Geller said that her mother got the bracelet from a veteran at a Tea Party event, the customer became enraged and demanded Geller box up her food and get the manager.

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After Geller was finished checking out for the night, the proprietor of the restaurant, Gary Lockwood, told her that he was going to have to let her go due to complaints that evening. Megan was shocked and asked if she could tell her side of the story, which he agreed to. She claims during her explanation, Lockwood went out of his way to cut her off and make it clear to her that he was not firing her for the bracelet. That comment made it clear to Megan that that was the reason she was being fired or he wouldn’t have even mentioned it.

On the night of the protest, Bob Irons, the joint venture partner for Outback, was onsite to answer customers’ questions about the nature of the protest. We attempted to ask Lockwood and him questions regarding the firing, but they declined to make any comments and referred us to their corporate offices.

Joe Kadow at Outback’s corporate offices told us that Megan was fired for complaints from two separate tables that night and the firing had nothing to do with the “Tea Party” bracelet. He said if the bracelet was the problem, she would have simply been asked to remove it.

Kadow also denied Outback had made any attempt to deny Megan’s unemployment benefits, and had not been a part of any investigation by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Do you think Megan was treated unfairly? Will this incident affect whether or not you will dine at Outback Steakhouse in the future? Please take our poll.

16 Responses

  1. Robert Hersey

    I sent Outback a lengthy email last night informing them of how this story is blowing up and will become their worst nightmare financially after it was picked up by Drudge which averages 40 millions page hits a day .

  2. Sandy

    I sent them an angry E-mail and they denied the entire story. Got another E-mail from another Outback rep who was the manager of the Outback at Crystal Lake and he also denied it saying he was there and that was not how it went. It’s a case of “he said, she said” and knowing the liberal attitude of the people in Illinois I tend to believe the server.I think Outback management has this idea that they will automatically be believed over a “server”. If a customer had grabbed me like that she would have been laying on the floor nursing a broken nose.

  3. Tonya Franklin

    As her mother…..I agree Anne. The customer should have been told to leave after her touching my daughter, let alone be allowed to continue her tirade. The customer had everything to do with why my daughter was fired. Megan was not fired for her “political point of view”….Megan was targeted over the customer’s “political point of view”. The Gadsden Flag is what the Marines carried into battle during the American Revolution. We are a Military family and it was given to us for our Patriotism for this Country.

    • PJSolarz

      I have a friend that was a bar manager and when ever a guy layed a finger on one of her waitresses, she “removed” the gentleman from the club for the evening. No if’s, and’s or buts… goodnight!

  4. Melinda

    I read that a waitress, Megan Geller, in your Crystal Lake, Illinois, location was fired after a customer grabbed her arm and complained that she was wearing a Tea Party bracelet. I’ve also This is what I posted to in their “Contact Us” section: “I read that a waitress, Megan Geller, in your Crystal Lake, Illinois, location was fired after a customer grabbed her arm and complained that she was wearing a Tea Party bracelet. I’ve also read that Outback managers and partners are denying that she was fired for that reason. Nonetheless, I have seen how liberals behave, and I believe Megan’s story. I believe that she was grabbed by a liberal bully, and that Outback’s actions are craven. You want to throw her under the bus, go right ahead. I shall take my business elsewhere. Expect me back only after you’ve rehired Megan Geller. Oh, and this is getting posted on my Facebook page for all my friends to see.”

    • Rick Santelli's Belly

      Are you crazy? Not matter how despicable their actions may have been, it’s not worth boycotting Outback. Good luck trying to live without bloomin’ onions! It’s time to fight these fucking liberal bullies and this waitress should have put one of those steak knives to good use.

  5. Toothless Dawg

    @ Anne “Customer “grabbed her arm”? Isn’t that “simple assault”?

    You’re exactly right Anne, that was my first thought as well. The customer should never have touched the young waitress and Outback should have supported their employee.

  6. thedametruth

    I commend and support Megan, all those boycotting Outback, and all of those who take up the gauntlet against anyone who tries to deprive anyone of their Constitutional rights. If we do not take a stand now, we shall be lost forever.

    A schoolgirl on Long Island was suspended for wearing a sweatshirt with the stars and bars on it–she was from the south and had been given the shirt as a gift as a memento from her heritage. Meanwhile, everyone else is permitted to display their national flags, wear burkas and express themselves in any way they wish. Rules must apply equally to everyone, and assaulting others is not acceptable.

  7. robert philopulous

    I beleive what happened and untill outback does something I will b going to there competitor

  8. mark

    Don’t worry about Bloomin onions, you can go to and
    get the recipe and how to make them. I did and you can’t tell the difference as far as the flavor! Presentation, a little more
    difficult. Just make sure to soak those onions in cold water
    overnight so they “bloom”. This soak is after you cut them
    which is explained in the video! Your welcome.

  9. mark

    Oh, by the way, one of the ingredients is Crystal Louisiana hot sauce and you can get it at Wal Mart.


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