In an attack on the values held by Chick-fil-A, Burger King plans to donate to an LGBT organization for every chicken sandwich sold in June.
The company’s announcement came two days after it was reported that Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy had donated to the National Christian Foundation, a non-profit organization that has given to more than 60,000 charities since it was founded in 1982.
Among the groups it has funded is the Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom. “The Daily Beast” reported that the foundation donated $6,585,923 to Alliance Defending Freedom in 2018. Alliance Defending Freedom has worked to defeat the Equality Act, saying it would harm religious liberty.
Foundation spokesman Steve Chapman said the organization has donated to charities that are “providing clean water to the thirsty, rescuing victims of human trafficking, translating the Bible into new languages and much more.”
Burger King made the announcement on its Twitter account: “The #ChKing says LGBTQ+ rights! during #pride month (even on Sundays), your chicken sandwich craving can do good! we are making a donation* to @HRC for every Ch’King sold.”
But the values of Burger King and Chick-fil-A could not be further apart. In 2018 the burger, which seems oddly interested in sex, encouraged women to have sex for money and free burgers. The advertisement promised Russian women a lifetime of free sandwiches and a $47,000 cash prize if they get pregnant with the child of a World Cup Soccer player. The campaign was launched on the Russian social media outlet VK and was ultimately pulled after translations were made and shared in Europe and North America embarrassing the company.
“HRC” is an acronym for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT activist group. A follow-up tweet said the donation period will run through June 30, and for “every Ch’King sold, BK will contribute 40 cents to the Human Rights Campaign.”
Restaurant Brands International owns Burger King along with Popeyes and Tim Hortons. Burger King announced in 2019 that it was closing 250 stores because of lagging sales. At the end of 2020 it had closed 319, almost twice as many as any other fast-food chain. RBI is not an American company but rather Canadian with a Brazilian company controlling 32% of the holdings.
Burger King released the Ch’King chicken sandwich to compete against Chick-fil-A. Last year, Chick-fil-A was named America’s favorite fast-food restaurant for the sixth straight year in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which is based on interviews with customers. Burger King finished 12th.
Chick-fil-A says its official corporate purpose is “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.”
Burger King seems to struggle with its social media messages. In addition to the “sex” campaign in 2018, this year it has faced two issues.
The company came under fire in April during International Women’s Day when it sent out a tweet saying “Women belong in the kitchen.” While meant to highlight the lack of women in professional kitchens, its apologies for the deaf-messaging fell short and a worldwide boycott was organized with the hashtag #BoycottTheKing.
It also ran afoul of Egyptians when the company used an image of the lodged shipping container in the Suez Canal to sell a new menu item.
Some social commentators say the company’s outreach to the LGBT community is pandering, meant to deflect attention away from a bad social media spring and store closings.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice