After watching overpaid, ungrateful professional athletes kneel as the national anthem was played before NFL games, Bill DeFries, a Marine veteran and the owner of an Ohio Beef O’Brady’s, made a decision that could greatly impact his bottom line: he stopped showing NFL games. It was a risky move for a sports restaurant, but DeFries was prepared for any financial blowback he incurred as a result of the move. That’s how strongly he felt about the matter, so he was shocked to see who walked through his restaurant’s doors days later.
Bill DeFries (left), A Beef O’Brady’s franchise (right) (Photo Credit: Bill DeFries/Twitter, Beef O’Brady’s/Facebook)
DeFries met with his management team before pulling NFL games from his franchise, just to ensure that they were all on the same page. He did not know what the move would mean for sales, but everyone was determined to cut off the NFL after witnessing the disrespectful display players made during the anthem.
DeFries told Fox Business, “I have to tell you as a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, I served to defend our country’s Constitution and free speech, and while I defend the right of every American to express their views and voice this freely, the actions demonstrated by the NFL players during the country’s national anthem — it was offensive and disrespectful to me as a proud veteran and all my fellow veterans.”
The restaurant owner continued, “We are a family restaurant, and we have been for 13 years,” adding, “And our customers are from the community. They come in here to relax and enjoy a meal and be entertained, in particular by the NFL on Sundays,” indicating it was a big move to decide to turn the game off. However, he had a good reason.
“But we also serve a lot of local military families and veterans, many of whom share my view on the NFL players’ actions during the national anthem,” said DeFries. “Before making this decision, I met with the leadership team to ensure we were all aligned on the issue, and we were. We knew that our sales would be negatively impacted.”
According to IJR, the impact to DeFries’ bottom line was felt immediately. When he called to get a refund on his DirecTV NFL package, he was told he’d have to eat the $6,000 fee. DirecTV told him they were only giving refunds to residential customers, not business accounts. DeFries said that his restaurant has formally requested a refund.
Then, things took a turn. Instead of seeing his sales drop dramatically as a result of his decision to stop showing NFL games, customers began flocking to Beef O’Brady’s in droves to show their support. “Every day our sales have been up between 200 and 300 percent,” DeFries told Dayton Daily News. “People we have never seen before are driving hours to support us and the employees. We have received heart-warming and supportive phone calls, emails and direct messages from people all over the United States thanking us.”
DeFries’ story should serve as a lesson in integrity to other business owners. Often times, doing the right thing isn’t easy; sometimes, it’s even a financial risk. However, those who stick to their guns in the face of adversity are always rewarded in the long run.
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