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Fort Myers' Mad Fresh Bistro Refuses To Serve Ketchup To Its Patrons

Eating take away chips, UK. (Photo by: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
Eating take away chips, UK. (Photo by: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)

No shirt, no shoes, no service. But what about "no ketchup"?

A Fort Myers, Fl. restaurant is making a viral splash with its strict condiment policy and the "right to refuse service of ketchup."

Mad Fresh Bistro has operated with the ban in place since 2012, and also restricts any substitutions, deferring to the power of its chef's discretion.

"We know, we know," wrote a representative for the restaurant, in an online statement obtained by the TODAY Show, on Monday. "People love their ketsup [sic]. But honestly, be ready. If you're over 10 years old, ketsup [sic] will not be provided... We simply ask that you trust us."

Xavier Duclos, the bistro's chef and owner, has previously defended his hardline stance in the Fort Myers News Press.

"I had someone try and sneak ketchup in here and I kicked them out," Duclos told the news outlet. "I think my flavours work. You don't walk into the museum and tell them to change the colour of the painting."

Duclos also insists that the restaurant has not seen a decline or dip in sales as a result of this position, saying, "we're still slammed every day."

This is not the first time the use of ketchup has been frowned upon in a public dining setting. In 2011, France banned use of the condiment in its school and college cafeterias, under the pretense that it masks or ruins the natural flavour of traditional meals. Two years later, in Orange County, Fl., a Subway employee was fired for denying a customer ketchup on his Philly cheese steak sandwich, which subsequently devolved into a fist fight.

In a less extreme example, TODAY Show correspondent Carson Daly also found a similarity between Mad Fresh Bistro's policy and one at a restaurant in his hometown of Santa Monica, Calif..

"If I'm a paying customer and I choose [to have] ketchup, they will not bring the ketchup," said Daly.

Is this restriction out of line, or is the customer not always right?

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