If you’re a blogger traveling, avoid the DQ in Marquette, Michigan.
They made me leave because I’d been inside uploading a 54-minute video on building a stand for my solar panel to charge my devices, and I’d not ordered my food “fast enough” for the on-duty manager.
Having stopped or “perched” as I often tell my BFF Julie from California, at dozens and dozens of establishments around the United States, this is the first place ever to ask me to leave.
The summary message here is simple: If you’re a blogger or YouTuber on the road in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, don’t bother stopping at the DQ. Even though they have the PWD for their WiFi posted in the dining room. (It’s BLIZZARD) Do not waste your time here because they don’t want you in their “restaurant.” Something GM Kaitlin Monday made sound as if she regarded their establishment as The Palm in New York City, or a Ruth’s Chris, or Bazaar in Beverley Hills.
Places where I would not think to take in my computer bag, with my power strip, multiple plugs for iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, power brick, or my pain stimulator sub-dermal battery.
Saturday Night: A Blizzard of Kindness
Saturday night I went to DQ and had a pleasant experience. The store in question is located on Highway 41 in Marquette, Michigan. I uploaded two videos. I arrived a little after 7 p.m. and bought more food than I should have eaten. In total, I spent more than $25 at the Marquette DQ. When my video still had not completed loading at 9 p.m., closing time, the manager was kind enough to approach me and ask if I minded if they ran the vacuums and stuff to close the store.
I was astounded!
She was actually asking me if I’d be inconvenienced by them doing their work so they could get on the way home sooner. From my college days as a morning crew leader at Wendy’s I know how much the night crew wants to get out of the store as fast as humanly possible.
I apologized to the manager for not being gone by 9 p.m. and the dear woman said, “Not to worry. I’m going to lock the one door but you can go out the patio door when you’re finished.”
And so they cleaned up and I left after closing, my meal finished, videos uploaded. All was cool.
The Sunday Freeze
I arrived earlier Sunday evening, around 6 p.m., because I had a 54-minute video to upload. This is the longest yet on my rapidly-growing YouTube channel.
When I arrived, I wanted the same table as Saturday night, but an elderly man was sitting between it and the next one, so I went to the table with a plug toward the back of the store by the restrooms.
I noticed that Kiara, who had been my order taker Saturday, and who had kindly answered other questions that night, had just gone on break and I was trying to cut a portion off the front of my video. So I got up and walked over to her table and asked her for help, which she gave me. I thanked her for her time and returned to the table I did not want to be at.
A few minutes later, the Sunday night manager, Mindy, entered the wing of seats and in a condescending tone, asked Kiara if it was time to return from her break. Kiara’d not been on a long one to begin with. So, Kiara said she still had a few minutes. (My previous fast food managers would not have asked such a question. They had the time I’d started a break on a clipboard, like all the others on the shift, to ensure each took a break, and got their 15-30 minutes.) But not Mindy. She had a ‘tude. As we’d say in the South, a “rude tude.”
Mindy also approached a female employee who was on break when I walked in and told her to return to work.
Then she approached me.
“I was just making sure we had not overlooked you,” she said after asking if I’d ordered yet.
I said not yet but I was about to. And indeed, fully intended to buy dinner. Just not $25 worth like Saturday night.
Manager Mindy returned to the front line of the store.
Around 7 p.m. Mindy Says “You’ll have to leave.”
So the goodwill from Saturday night ended when the same condescending attitude returned to my table as Mindy. I’d moved from my previous table. I’d not ordered food yet. And so she said, “Sir, I’m going to ask you to leave.”
Befuddled, I asked her why?
Now asking why, when I was not doing anything but my work, was about to place an order–in three visits I’d spent an average of $11.92 per visit–and Mindy didn’t care. I’d not spent any money on her shift and she decided that I needed to go.
“You’ve moved tables and you’ve been here a while and have not ordered anything. So I’m asking you to leave.”
I really was about to order food.
That didn’t matter.
Mindy said she’d called her boss and asked how long she should let me stay.
But instead of extending courtesy to a customer, Mindy went full-mall security guard on me.
“You’ll have to leave.”
I inquired as to why. Having been to dozens of restaurants across the country, I’d never been told to leave an establishment before, and I, surprised and appalled, wanted to know why.
On Monday, GM Kaitlin, and Franchise owner Steve, said that had argued with her.
And indeed I had. What she was doing was outrageous.
Owner Steve told me “it’s hard enough to run a business post-covid without you making a mountain over a mole hill.”
Were it so hard running a business post-covid, and I’m sure it is, (running a restaurant is never easy peasy), wouldn’t it have made more sense for manager Mindy to have approached me and said this:
“Sir, you’ve been here a while, and we are thrilled you’ve chosen our store tonight. But if you would kindly order some food, I will not need to ask you to leave.”
There would not now be a post calling them out. There would not now be keyword-loaded post on the internet that says, “If you’re a blogger or YouTuber, do not stop at the Dairy Queen/DQ at 3260 US Highway 41 W in Marquette Michigan.”
Marquette, Michigan’s DQ Managers/Owner and DQ Corporate
At 8 p.m. I was down the road at the Big Boy restaurant, one we never ate at the four times we lived in Marquette, and I finished my dinner and writing an earlier draft of this post. I also enjoyed strawberry pie for desert, too. I spent another $25 on dinner Sunday tonight. Money that would have gone to the coffers of DQ in Marquette, Michigan had I not been kicked out by manager Mindy.
I have now also posted video to this effect on YouTube. “Bloggers and YouTubers, do not stop at the DQ in Marquette, Michigan. We are not welcomed at their 4-star restaurant.”
Four-point-one stars per the DQ official site and the reviews posted there. Pull the listing up and read some of the reviews. I told owner Steve Monday afternoon when he called angry about my post and for contacting corporate after a condescending, arrogant phone call from Kaitlin. She was so not willing to listen to me, I hung up. There was no point wasting any time with her junior level arrogant attitude.
Though I’d given my contact information to the DQ fan line, they’d not sent the information to Steve. So he said I was being “sneaky” for not having given corporate more information.
So when we hung up, rather, when Steve hung up on me, I called the woman answering the phone for complaints and told her I still wanted to speak to someone at corporate about the crap-attitude that I’d experienced from three managers/owner at the Marquette DQ. And I also told the woman she damned well better share the information with Steve.
Conclusions and Second Thoughts about Marquette, Michigan’s DQ
I’ve already mentioned the management of the DQ in Marquette, Michigan could have avoided this whole matter, plus the negative blog post and video mentions had manager Mindy simply approached me Sunday night and said, “Please order some food or I’m going to ask you to leave.”
Had anything as nutty ever happened to me before, I also could have introduced myself to Mindy when I walked in and said I’m going to be here a spell, but I’m also going to purchase food to make it a fair trade. But I didn’t do that because this has never happened to me before, and likely won’t ever again.
I’d have popped right up and placed an order, probably one averaging something close to my $11.92. But instead, because they went DefCon 1 with me, I, who was not doing anything wrong, returned fire.
Steve sounded astonished that Big Boy and other restaurants across the nation have let me use a smidge of their electricity while patronizing their business.
After having worked for Dole for President, the campaigns of Reagan, Bush, Bush, and RINOs McCain and Romney, and supported President Trump, and been assistant press secretary, and press secretary for the first two Republican governors in Alabama since Reconstruction, and served as the communications director for the 51-person Communications Services division for Dallas Schools–recruited by former Gov. G. Bush’s Education Commissioner Mike Moses–Steve had the nerve to ask if I was a Biden supporter.
No, Steve, I guarantee I’m not in any way a Biden/Harris supporter.
I am a 56-y-o disabled man who is doing a social experiment having sold everything I own and returned to stay as long as I can on family land here in the Upper Peninsula. A place I lived three times while growing up and have wanted to return to since 1978. I have moved 37 times in 56 years and I have worked for governors, school districts, a presidential campaign, and for one of three PR companies ExxonMobil uses to promote math and science programs for at-risk youth across the United States.
In all of those years as a writer, blogger, and now YouTuber, not once, until Sunday evening, has any manager ever asked me to leave because I did not order food in time to meet expectations.
Or, as Steve noted before he hung up, that I’d violated his store’s policies. When I asked exactly what his policies are, he hung up the phone.
So quite simply, I will repeat here, if you’re a blogger or YouTuber and needed WiFi and/or AC power to recharge your devices, go somewhere else than the DQ in Marquette, Michigan.
You’ll violate their policies. Whatever those might be.