It appears that fast food Twitter has reached a ceasefire in its battle for superiority amid the coronavirus pandemic. The posts of fast-food restaurants have shifted from feuding to taking care of relevant issues.
“It’s crazy to believe that just a month ago, fast-food chains were humorously roasting each other on social media,” Fox Business pointed out. Wendy’s announcing in a tweet on March 2nd that it will be selling breakfast is one such event.
Later that day, competitor Burger King took shots and started a “breakfast war.”
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A light feud between Wendy’s and Burger King is quite common. Wendy’s has gone after Burger King when it announced that it was testing a sandwich containing nothing but fries.
Fast food and Marketing
Chick-Fil-A and Popeye’s have also gone to feuds when “they unleashed the famous chicken sandwich war that consumed Twitter users and forced fans of the food chains to draw lines in the sand over which chicken sandwich was superior,” reported Fox Business.
However, the spread of the coronavirus has brought new challenges to these fast-food chains. The National Restaurant Association said that the restaurant industry has lost more than 3 million jobs. It also lost $25 billion in sales since March 1st due to the coronavirus. Around 50 percent of restaurant operators anticipate having to lay off more people in April, as reported by Fox Business.
While the humorous feud between brands has become known to many, Burger King and Popeye’s parent Restaurant Brand International’s Global Chief Marketing Officer Fernando Machado said it’s a better marketing strategy to reduce the feuds and have brands “help people with concrete action” during the pandemic.
“It’s not the time to be getting into feuds with other brands,” Machado said. “Right now, it’s important that we work together to help support our fans and our communities through this difficult time.”
Doing Their Part
The fast-food chains are doing their part in helping during the crisis. Burger King is giving away kids’ meals for parents having to find meals for their children. They have also given financial support in China to the Red Cross to support frontline medical staff.
Popeye’s is currently supporting the organization No Kid Hungry. It’s matching donations of $1 for every customer who donates through the restaurant’s app.
Wendy’s President and CEO Todd Penegor called the coronavirus “an unprecedented time” for us. Penegor also said Wendy’s is “focused on the actions where we can make a positive difference.”
“The company is working to adjust its marketing plan as a system to reflect the dynamic and changing conditions of the marketplace,” Penegor said.
“Given the very strong early performance of breakfast driven through our world-class social and digital communications, the Company intends to remove its incremental breakfast marketing spend investment in 2020 and support our franchise system in other ways. The Company and its franchisees remain fully committed to breakfast and as part of this plan we will continue to apply media pressure to this daypart as we believe it will be beneficial to both breakfast and rest of day sales.”
Chick-Fil-A is also doing its. The company helps by deploying outdoor handwashing stations. It plans to add the said stations to all drive-thru and in-line curbside locations chainwide by April 11th. Chick-Fil-A also lets their team members wear face protection. The company also provides Purell wipes to team members to regularly sanitize their hands in addition to handwashing. The restaurant also gives back to families affected by the virus through its Family Meals program.
“While the focus on the virus doesn’t necessarily mean the war is over, fast-food brands have definitely reached a truce, at least for the time being,” said Fox Business.