COATESVILLE, Pa.—Double D Diner in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, is like a restaurant out of a movie: red plastic booth seats, rounded metal roof, a long counter where the regulars huddle up front.
That’s probably why Katie McGinty, who’s running for Senate, chose it as the set for her latest political ad. She stands, perfectly coiffed, before the Regular People of Pennsylvania, and explains that her mother provided for her family by working in a diner—not this diner, just a diner. It’s an apparent appeal to the working-class folks here in Chester County, one of the most competitive electoral areas in the state.
The women who work at Double D, however, weren’t having it.
“They shut down my section and I couldn’t make any money,” said Carly Correa, a 21-year-old waitress who has been working at the diner for nearly a decade. She said the servers just stood around and watched as McGinty’s staff staged fake customers—the Regular People—among the seats in the front. Because the ads are airing so frequently, they now have the added pleasure of constantly watching McGinty pose in their diner on television while they work booths full of actual patrons.
“We kind of felt like she was trying to belittle us around here,” said Correa, who has a 2-year-old daughter. “She was saying, ‘Oh, I was raised on the salary of a restaurant hostess.’ But we work here. This is what our kids our raised off of.” The aspiring senator didn’t really talk with the staff when she came in, Correa added. “She didn’t even say like, ‘Hi,’ ‘Bye,’ ‘Thank you.’”