Restaurant chain Chick-fil-A learned the hard way when a tweet about its newly reintroduced spicy chicken sandwich sparked discussion hotter than the sauce.
After a Twitter user and Chick-fil-A nuggets fan decried the lack of spicy nuggets on the menu, noting that its grilled spicy deluxe chicken sandwich had returned, the company sought to reassure its customer.
On Friday, Sept. 9, one Twitter user tweeted at the fast food chain, writing, “grilled spicy deluxe but still noooo spicy nuggets…………@ChickfilA…..”
The company tweeted back directly to the poster, saying, “Your community will be the first to know if spicy items are added to the permanent menu, Don!”
Now, people immediately noticed how the chain treated their Black customers differently than their white customers by grouping him together with his “community” simply because of the color of his skin.
“Do you mean like the black community?” one user asked.
“Wym by ‘your community’ ?” another Twitter user said.
“Now I gotta cancel chick fil a??? I’m logging out of Twitter for the day. Take care,” another person wrote.
Another shared, “Your community? I’m going to need an explanation for that comment. ‘Our’ community would not want to think that there were some racial undertones behind that.”
One person pointed out that Chick-fil-A seemed to be proud of their racist tweet because they didn’t bother deleting it from the Twitter platform.
“Eight hours later, and this racist tweet is still up. Damn, I am in shock. Actually, no, I’m not. It’s Chick-fil-A. I shouldn’t expect anything less.”
As of Monday, Chick-fil-A’s reply remained online and drew more than 1,600 comments and more than 8,000 retweets as Twitter users ripped the post.
Many others were quick to point out that Chick-fil-A uses that phrase all the time, backing that up with screenshots.
The online kerfuffle had the restaurant chain admitting some level of culpability. It also explained that it uses the phrase all the time and it refers solely to geography and restaurant service areas.
“The response was a poor choice of words but was not intended in any way to be insensitive or disrespectful,” a spokesperson told NBC News. “We often use the term ‘community’ in a broader sense to talk about places where we operate restaurants and serve the surrounding community.”