Capitalism at Work

I’m an unrepentant capitalist. I think the spirit of capitalism is exhibited in Jeff Ferris and Dan Hilliard.

Hilliard owns and Ferris manages a restaurant in Owen Sound, Ontario. I’ve been to Owen Sound and it’s a lovely place. The restaurant is called Nathaniel’s. I’m not sure why it’s called Nathaniel’s since neither of them is named Nathaniel, but perhaps they thought it sounded more posh and sophisticated than “Jeff and Dan’s”. But they can call it what they like: that’s capitalism.

Jeff and Dan have standards. They want their waiting staff to look a certain way. Male employees cannot wear earrings. Female employees can’t shave their heads. Standards are standards. Customers have certain expectations.

If a female employee comes in with a shaved head, they lay her off and send her home for three months. That’s what they did to Stacey Fearnall. She shaved off her long red hair to raise money for a cancer charity. After all, her father died of cancer, her cousin has cancer, as does her best friend’s husband. She raised CN$2,700 for the shave.

When Stacey was told to leave Nathaniel’s, the press found out. Freedom of the press is a good thing. The local paper wrote it up. Then the big Toronto papers picked it up, as did the CBC. So did the Daily Telegraph here. And of course it hit the blogosphere. Now everyone knows that Jeff and Dan have standards.

And the great thing about capitalism is that just like Jeff and Dan have standards, so does the public. The dining out public. And captialism being what it is, the public has lots of choices of where to eat in Owen Sound. And they are not choosing Nathaniel’s.

Jeff and Dan are in for a long dry summer. That’s the great thing about capitalism.

3 Responses to “Capitalism at Work”

  1. John of Indiana Says:

    Jeff and Dan lay-off the employee then bring them back? Wouldn’t see that around here. Around here we have such a surplus of labour, and Indiana is an “Employment At Will” (sack on a whim) state that you’d be out. Permanently.
    Since the Village Coffeehouse closed last week, there a definite surplus of odd-looking Baristas in the area.
    Stacey could have had them buzz her w/a #3 comb, given the charity plenty of hair, and still had a short Annie Lennox thing going on.
    I make a good cuppa, and I don’t have a quart of ink under my skin or 2 pounds of stainless steel hanging off my face… 😉

  2. Robert Says:

    I have some interesting information to add to this story that has not yet been released..
    First of all..Jeff and Dan are”partners” and have been since before the restaurant opened.
    Secondly…Nathaniels is a combination of Dan’s three childrens names..
    Just thought everyone should know. I personally find it interesting that they discriminated against this “good deed” lady.
    Jeff actually used to work for me, and knowing Owen Sound I don’t find this behaviour out of the ordinary, it does (the city folk as a whole) think that it is different thatn the rest of Ontario.. And I totally agree after having lived and operated a business up there.

  3. sol Says:


    Thank you for the information. I tried to suss out the relationship between Jeff and Dan from the various, and slightly conflicting, news reports. Sorry I didn’t get it exactly right. I originally wrote it with them as partners, until I saw a different report.

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