Back in 2011, a California Chili's restaurant teamed with the local Planned Parenthood to raise funds for the abortion giant.
The Mar Monte Chili's location passed out flyers to diners, promising that if they just showed the paper when they came to eat, Chili's would donate 15% of their total bill to Planned Parenthood.
But once the flyers went public, the restaurant received so much backlash that the fundraiser was canceled. Instead, the Mar Monte Chili's donated $200 to Planned Parenthood.
Six years later, at Chili's locations in Kentucky and Indiana, the same fundraising flyer has resurfaced:
Patrons of Chili's restaurants in those two states, from January through March of 2017, can have 15% of their total bill donated to Planned Parenthood.
And there has definitely been a bit of blowback this time, as well:
Around the same time the first Chili's and Planned Parenthood fundraiser was canceled in California, an Applebee's in the same area went ahead with their own version of the fundraiser.
EWTN News reported:
Other Sacramento-area restaurants have held fundraisers for the organization, such as the Applebee’s on Arden Way in Sacramento.
But that fundraiser was a flop.
“Not a single person came in to redeem their fundraising promotion for Planned Parenthood,” said the Applebee’s manager Beverly Lynn. “I was a little surprised and wondered if there had been a scheduling oversight or something.”
After its fundraiser failed, Applebee's re-evaluated its marketing scheme and distanced themselves from the abortion provider — they even went so far as to ask Planned Parenthood to “remove all references to their restaurant from its website.”
As the news of the Indiana and Kentucky based fundraisers spread, word eventually reached the Chili's corporate offices. They, in turn, sent the following email to Independent Journal Review:
Please find below a statement that can be attributed to Chili’s® Grill & Bar.
“At Chili’s, we have a longstanding history and take pride in giving back to unite our local communities together. We recognize every community is unique, and encourage our restaurant managers and franchise partners to support causes that help bring communities together and leave a positive impact on our valued Guests, neighbors, friends and families we serve.
Yesterday, we learned that an independent franchise partner of Chili’s in Indiana and Kentucky made the decision to host a Chili’s Give Back Event on behalf of Planned Parenthood Indiana and Kentucky. While our franchise partner had the best intentions; we have received growing feedback and concern from community members regarding the Give Back Event. This feedback does not reflect Chili’s focus on bringing communities together and the event was never intended to be viewed as a partisan event or political statement, therefore we, along with our franchise partner, have decided to cancel the event.
We will more clearly communicate the focus of Chili’s charitable giving efforts, so that our restaurant managers and franchise partners can feel empowered to support local organizations that bring communities together.”
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky has since removed all references to the fundraiser from its Facebook and Twitter pages.
***This article has been updated since publication to reflect changes brought to our attention by Chili's corporate office.