Chick-fil-A scrambled to explain itself over the weekend after facing allegations of racism over its use of the phrase “your community” in a message to a customer.
The social media backlash began last Friday after one user tweeted the message “grilled spicy deluxe but still noooo spicy nuggets” to the fast-food giant’s official account.
“Your community will be the first to know if spicy items are added to the permanent menu, Don!” Chick-fil-A’s account responded.
The reply drew immediate criticism from others who questioned whether the words “your community” had a racist connotation.
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.
“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.
Meanwhile, some users noted that Chick-fil-A has used similar replies on Twitter when asked about whether specific menu items would return.
Chick-fil-A addressed the situation in a statement to NBC News, noting that its use of the word “community” was meant as a reference to areas where its restaurants are located.
“The response was a poor choice of words but was not intended in any way to be insensitive or disrespectful,” a company spokesperson said. “We often use the term ‘community’ in a broader sense to talk about places where we operate restaurants and serve the surrounding community.”
The Post has reached out to Chick-fil-A for further comment on the situation.
While Chick-fil-A consistently ranks among the country’s most popular fast-food restaurants, the company has faced controversy in the past. Some groups have pushed for boycotts of Chick-fil-A restaurants in recent years over its past donations to groups with anti-LGBTQ stances.