Chick-fil-A is the ultimate morality test for millennials and Gen Z. While their waffles fries are easily the best fast food fries in existence and their chicken sandwiches are second to none, the company does orchestrate a well known financial relationship with anti-LGBTQ+ groups. With this elephant in the room, some already skeptical Twitter users were understandably quick to hop on the franchise’s questionable response to a Black user.
Chick-fil-A’s spicy chicken nuggets are a seemingly mythical menu item—the company tested them way-back-when in 2017, and later claimed they didn’t perform well enough to be placed permanently on the menu, much to the chagrin of a loyal fanbase of spicy nugget truthers. Fast forward to 2022, and people have not forgotten. Twitter user KANYEISMYDAD tweeted Chick-fil-A about the fabled Spicy Nuggets on September 9, stating: “grilled spicy deluxe but still noooo spicy nuggets…………@ChickfilA…..”
To which Chick-fil-A replied: “Your community will be the first to know if spicy items are added to the permanent menu, Don!”
The replies to the company’s tweet were subsequently flooded with people asking for clarification on the remark, calling out the company for the potentially racist connotations of the reply (“community” could be misconstrued as the Black community as a whole). “explain yourself - QUICKLY,” said Twitter user tenilleclarke1.
Many were quick to point out that Chick-fil-A does have a tendency to reply with this language to a majority of user inquiries on Twitter, with “community” referring to the literal geographic area of a town/neighborhood. “Community as in area. See their previous tweets from at least a week ago,” tweeted mgzdailydoses, who also posted screen recordings of similar replies from Chick-fil-A’s Twitter account.
Chick-fil-A did not immediately return Gizmodo’s request for comment, but told Today that “[t]he response was a poor choice of words but was not intended in any way to be insensitive or disrespectful.” The company continued: “We often use the term ‘community’ in a broader sense to talk about places where we operate restaurants and serve the surrounding community.”
I’m not in the business of defending problematic corporations, but it appears that Chick-fil-A’s business model, which brands its restaurants as a part of the local community in a bid to cash in on some Southern hospitality, is now the center of an unfortunate misunderstanding playing out on Twitter. At the end of the day, companies should choose the words they use wisely while interacting with customers and I think we can all agree that the spicy nuggets are a good idea.