Why Social Media Users Have A Beef With Morton's Steakhouse

Morton's Steakhouse can't seem to catch a break. Just days after it hit the spotlight after a highly controversial statement it released following Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's exit from the restaurant's back door in Washington DC per Esquire, the chain has become the focus of social media attention yet again for the Father's Day campaign it ran a month prior.

In a campaign that may be seen as particularly ill-advised with 20-20 hindsight, Morton's ran a series of billboards for Father's Day 2022 with an image of a steak cooked rare and a caption which read "WE call it a MENu for a reason." Beneath that was a caption inviting those who found the ad to bring their Dads to Morton's for a Father's Day meal. The restaurant's advertising agency Michael Walters claimed that the campaign was so successful it "helped establish single-day sales records." While it might have worked for Father's Day, few seemed taken or amused today.

Morton's Father's Day billboard became a lightning rod

Unfortunately for Morton's, the billboard became just another target for irate pro-abortion rights activists including noted Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss who tweeted an image of the billboard along with the caption, "Morton's Steakhouse should rethink its billboards."

Some social media users disagreed. "I don't want them to rethink their billboard. I appreciate them upfront telling me who they are and that I am not someone whose money they want. The truth goes a long way with me, all the way to my favorite steakhouse which isn't Mortons," fumed one, while another said, "Nope. I love it when companies out themselves. Morton steakhouse Is subpar to other steakhouses. It's the Olive Garden of steaks."

But others rose to Morton's defense, like one social media user who chided Beschloss, "Oh come on now! It's meant to be a silly advertisement." Another asked, "Is there an issue with marketing to men? Should we only sell products to women? Maybe forbid men from carrying currency?"

Morton's is feeling the heat for its comment

Morton's isn't just getting hit on social media for its statement declaring,"Politics, regardless of your side or views, should not trample the freedom at play of the right to congregate and eat dinner. There is a time and place for everything. Disturbing the dinner of all of our customers was an act of selfishness and void of decency," after Kavanaugh's back door exit, per Esquire. As Insider reports, the chain is now also being inundated with fake reservations. The PR backlash has become so intense that Morton's SVP and COO Scott Crain has had to send a memo to its managers, explaining that the chain is "currently ... experiencing a massive wave (trending at #2 on social media now) of negative response to our comments yesterday as well as being bombarded at the local level with phone calls and fake reservations on Open Table."

The company isn't just paying for its off-the-cuff statement in bogus reservations — it has also seen the number of one-star reviews rise on both Yelp and Google (via Insider). Small wonder that Crain took the opportunity to remind staff that "our comment is always 'No Comment.' We don't respond, we don't retweet, we don't post on Instagram or Facebook, we don't do anything."