Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Hilton mistreatment of Fran O'Brien's ... and our Heroes

I am flabbergasted at the incredibly poor judgment of the Capital Hilton's management in their decision to evict Fran O'Brien's, and thus shut down a powerful source of caring for wounded servicemembers.  Soldiers like Chuck Ziegenfuss have found that the free meal is just a part of the caring service and friendship from owners Marty O'Brien and Hal Koster.  And on April 30, it will all end, it appears.  (For a trip through the history of this story, FbL has organized her story links here.)
I understand that the Hilton business has a right to make business decisions on their merit.  But where is the business ethic or merit in lying to their tenants, refusing to deal honestly in the negotiation process, denying the need for proper upgrades and improvements, and then forcing the restaurant into the street with less than 30 days to find a new home?  And since when is it ethical to take credit for the good done through the traditional Friday night free dinners for the wounded and their families?  Their empty offer to host the dinners in their other restaurant (but not to pay for them, they want the sponsors to come along!) is just a PR grab.  For Shame!  Apparently they think we are all stupid, to boot.
The Capital Hilton management made a very poor decision, to be sure.  But the corporate management of the Hilton organization has completely failed to correct the stupidity of their subsidiary, and they have brought shame to the whole corporation.  Plus, they will be removing a much needed place of love and support from the troops and family members.  All this because they couldn't negotiate in good faith, or provide reasonable lead-time for the restaurant. 
Hilton was not high on my list of places - but what little business they might have had from me is now gone. 
What was the line from Forrest Gump?   "Stupid is as stupid does." 
These folks have good ideas, and links on ways to communicate your feelings to the Hilton organization: