“Face diapers not required,” it said. “Everyone welcome.”
“Howdy Folks! Happy Valentine’s Day,” said the caption on the post. “A friendly reminder that we DO NOT require Face Masks.”
Since then, the posting has racked up about 1,700 reactions, 2,000 comments and 373 shares.
Owner Jesse Fox told WFLA he simply wanted to inform customers and staff of the eatery’s policy.
Restaurant owner Jesse Fox said Hernando County, Florida, does not require patrons to wear masks within restaurants.WBTW
“We did a post just trying to be proactive letting everybody know what the mask requirement is or isn’t at Beckyjack’s because some people were coming in … surprised that we weren’t wearing masks,” Fox said. “We’re getting a ton of feedback both positive and negative.”
One commenter on the post slammed the restaurant’s actions as “pretty disgusting.”
“Damn you really said ‘profit is more important than public health,’” the person wrote. “Pretty disgusting, imo.”
“Soooooo… you don’t like to follow health and hygiene guidelines then?” another commented. “Yes please I’ll have a side of salmonella with my covid air thank you.”
The CDC’s website says it leaves decisions about restaurant mask rules to local governments — and Fox told the station it’s not required in Hernando County.
If the county had required restaurant patrons to mask up, he would follow that rule, he said.
“I don’t feel like I am going against the grain,” he told the outlet. “I feel like I’m using common sense.”
Meanwhile, other commenters praised the restaurant’s choice.
“Yes!! Love BeckyJack’s Food Shack!” one person wrote. “Only in America 2021 is being welcoming of EVERYONE cause for such angst! FYI, this is how IT SHOULD BE. If you want to wear a mask wear a mask, if you don’t then don’t. Pretty simple concept, it used to be referred to as Freedom!”
“So glad you’re giving people the choice to wear or not wear a mask,” another chimed in. “Just like they have a choice to go or not go to your restaurant. I think we are all capable of making our own decisions when it comes to our health. Unfortunately there are those that think we need those decisions made for us!!”