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Backlash After Popular Restaurant Offers Free Meals To Vaccinated People In Malta

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St. Julian’s restaurant Planet Hollywood announced a new deal yesterday, giving vaccinated people a meal for free – and not everyone is happy about it.

The popular American franchise wrote they wanted to reward everyone contributing to the fight against COVID-19 in their new initiative. From Monday to Thursday, every fourth main course that is ordered will be given for free.

This kind of incentive follows similar campaigns around the world; some dating apps have allowed vaccinated users to get a “vaccination badge” and special benefits on their profile; other places, such as a bar in New Jersey, USA, gave all vaccinated customers a free beer and shot.

Locally, burger joint Hermanos even started offering free sides to vaccinated people last May.

The positive idea was meant to show support for front liners and everyone who sacrificed in their personal life to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

However, after the restaurant posted the neat deal to Facebook, it appeared not everyone agreed with the incentive, with some people who didn’t believe in getting vaccinated calling the offer discriminatory.

“Thanks for informing us about your initiative. Never to visit again” one popular comment read. “Will make sure not to order from here again for sure!!” another angry ex-customer said.

Though the new deal is meant to help the island get out of the COVID-19 pandemic sooner rather than later, many unvaccinated people took it personally.

In a reply to a comment saying “bullshit rules”, the restaurant clarifies that they cater to and serve all.

But that wasn’t enough to calm some comments. In a classic example of Godwin’s Law, one young man even referred to the Holocaust in World War 2, going as far as to say: “Shall we get unvaccinated people to wear a little star on their arm?”

Raising another concern, he wrote: “Makes me wonder how you treat your unvaccinated staff”. Another man with questionable knowledge on world affairs wrote: “You won’t see me again for sure… We live in Malta, not South Korea.”

However, many other people praised the restaurant for the offer, saying they would now visit the place and order four courses just to support them in their cause.

Though there were a number of offensive and rude comments from some online, Planet Hollywood stuck to their guns and have continued to offer the reward.

The restaurant’s brilliant offers didn’t end there.

They recently announced that diners can deduct your temperature reading from your final bill when eating there on Mondays – that’s next heatwave’s meal easily sorted then.

Will you be grabbing a free meal at Planet Hollywood?

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Belle dives deep into seas and stories. She’s passionate about mental health, environmental sustainability and social justice. When she’s not out and about with her dog, she’s more than happy to hear from you.

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