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I love chicken. Chickeny chicken chicken.
April 26, 2009 4:28 PM   Subscribe

My gut reaction was that the story--although a legitimate consumer complaint—seemed to reinforce a cultural stereotype about Black people and chicken. I know for a fact that no one on our staff meant for that to be the point of the story, but the fear that we would be accused of this sounded an alarm to me. It’s sad that I even had to worry about this.
Last week a couple of Popeye's restaurants in Rochester ran out of chicken. And local ABC affiliate WHAM decided to run a story. Some people complained, and WHAM responded. Warning: Second link contains some idiocy.
posted by hifiparasol (135 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've never understood he stereotype of black people loving fried chicken. Of course they do. Everybody loves fried chicken. Fried chicken is fucking delicious. I haven't eaten meat in 24 years and if somebody asked me if I love fried chicken, I would say yes I do, I love fried chicken, because chickens are delicious, and frying them makes them even more delicious.

It's the same thing about Jews and money. How is that an insult? Who doesn't love money? What are these stereotypes?

Damn, Astro Zombie, you Astro Zombies love some crazy shit, like porn and cupcakes and the Beatles! Why do Astro Zombies have to like that insane stuff?
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:35 PM on April 26, 2009 [140 favorites]


Protip: Some restaurants are frequented by the same type of people.

Is mefi obsessed with calling out "racism" all the time?
posted by damn dirty ape at 4:35 PM on April 26, 2009


Oh the fucking horror! People couldn't get their unhealthy, artery clogging meals!
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:35 PM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm a reporter (print) in a community much, much smaller than Rochester. No day is such a slow news day that we would ever run a story about a fast food restaurant running out of chicken.

The problem here isn't racist reporters, it's lazy reporters.
posted by collywobbles at 4:37 PM on April 26, 2009 [18 favorites]


I was all set to defend WHAM by saying that everyone loves the Papal Affirmative. Then I watched the video and read the links. Um, yeah. Other cities where this happened, they managed not to make the story sound like a /b/tard's wet dream. What happened here?
posted by crataegus at 4:37 PM on April 26, 2009


so there's 6 of us on the boat and we're all hungry and thirsty. i volunteer to run into town for some food and ask, "how about some nice greasy green chili cheeseburger's from ray's drive in? nobody wants that but me. they all vote for colonel sanders. dropped ashore i drive into town and the counter person at kfc tells me they are out of chicken. when i ask why they are still open she tells me they still have coleslaw and desserts. i go to ray's, get the burgers and head back to the boat and spend the rest of the day listening to everyone whine about what a selfish asshole i am. the colonel owes me a big one, but i'll never collect cuz his food is shit.
posted by kitchenrat at 4:39 PM on April 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Obama Fried Chicken

Where does the black people and fried chicken stereotype anyway? Because, like, who the hell DOESN'T like fried chicken? Fired chicken is fucking awesome. Did whitey somehow not know this back in the day?
posted by Artw at 4:39 PM on April 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


If you google "911 call" and the name of any fast food chain you will get numerous recordings of idiots calling the cops because they can't get an XL smearburger with extra doody. Apparently the commenters are not aware of all internet traditions.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 4:42 PM on April 26, 2009


Is mefi obsessed with calling out "racism" all the time?

You're showing your person-not-obsessed-with-calling-out-racism-all-the-time privilege there.
posted by Artw at 4:42 PM on April 26, 2009 [12 favorites]


Since fried chicken could keep for several days, longer than other preparations, and traveled well in hot weather before refrigeration was commonplace, it gained further favor in the periods of American history when segregation closed off most restaurants to the black population.^/i>
posted by phaedon at 4:43 PM on April 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


It's true. Fried chicken is pretty universally loved. In fact, when I first went to Thailand in the late 90's there couldn't have been more than a handful of McDonald's (or other burger joints) in the country, but there sure as hell was a KFC in every god damn town.
posted by gman at 4:43 PM on April 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


In the UK the various KFC knock-offs, which are often Pakistani owned and run, all have names that follow the formula [AMERICAN PLACE NAME] FRIED CHICKEN, os you get Tennessee Fried Chicken, New York Fried Chicken and the like...
posted by Artw at 4:47 PM on April 26, 2009


I thought Popeye's sold fish. Isn't Popeye a sailor? Help me with this.
posted by furtive at 4:47 PM on April 26, 2009 [8 favorites]


Several months ago Miko made a fantastic comment about the origins of the black people / fried chicken stereotype. Anyone got a link?
posted by ryanrs at 4:48 PM on April 26, 2009


Putting the issue of race aside, what I find humorous is that people seem to take an indignant attitude that they are *owed* this chicken special.
posted by tgrundke at 4:48 PM on April 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm more disappointed than angry.
posted by phaedon at 4:49 PM on April 26, 2009


Instead of lame apologies, WHAM could have solved this whole PR mess by dropping live chickens from their news helicopter.
posted by hal9k at 4:49 PM on April 26, 2009 [38 favorites]


White people eat fried chicken like this, and black people eat fried chicken like this, amirite?
posted by rokusan at 4:50 PM on April 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


Warning: Second link contains some idiocy.


oh, but if every post could contain this warning.
posted by mannequito at 4:50 PM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you eat healthy most of the time and you are active, eating fried chicken (or any fast food) once a month or once every two months will not "clog your arteries". Calm down.



I'm a reporter (print) in a community much, much smaller than Rochester. No day is such a slow news day that we would ever run a story about a fast food restaurant running out of chicken.

The problem here isn't racist reporters, it's lazy reporters.


You're a print reporter. You have integrity. To local TV news, this is PURE GOLD. It's a shame it didn't happen a week later in time for the book (sweeps period).
posted by Zambrano at 4:52 PM on April 26, 2009 [2 favorites]




Chicken.

Chicken.

Chicken.
posted by gcbv at 4:54 PM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here and here. Maybe just search the thread for "fried chicken". There's an interesting discussion hiding between the electionfilter.
posted by ryanrs at 4:56 PM on April 26, 2009


I guess this happens more often than I thought. I went to KFC once and they were out of chicken. I was dumbfounded. It's a store. That sells chicken. There's only one thing you have to do in this place and that's have some chicken. In the morning you look at the to do list at KFC and it says 1. get chicken. How did you miss that? Did someone get ham instead? Falafel?

Of course no one ran a news story about it. Though I do annoy people by telling the KFC no chicken story a lot.
posted by interplanetjanet at 5:01 PM on April 26, 2009 [11 favorites]


In the UK the various KFC knock-offs, which are often Pakistani owned and run, all have names that follow the formula [AMERICAN PLACE NAME] FRIED CHICKEN, os you get Tennessee Fried Chicken, New York Fried Chicken and the like...

In New York City, the formula is [WORD STARTING WITH K] FRIED CHICKEN, so there's a lot of Kennedy Fried Chickens. Then there's the variations thereof - near me I have a JFK Fried Chicken.

Anyway, back on topic, I read the news peoples' comments on the matter, and I definitely got the sense that while they sensed that there might be a perception problem with their interview sampling, it just didn't seem like a big enough deal to worry too much about. But people get angry about anything... some people would have been just as outraged if they hadn't run the story at all. Some of the comments at the "complained" link reminded me of The Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory.
posted by dammitjim at 5:06 PM on April 26, 2009


Chicken?
posted by jtron at 5:08 PM on April 26, 2009


Chicken chicken.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:09 PM on April 26, 2009


This book on Google Books has an essay (with some pages missing) that goes into great detail about how stereotypes about black people and chicken developed. The short answer is that Southern blacks have been involved in raising poultry since the 1700s. In addition, a lot of fried chicken in the antebellum era was cooked by African-American female house slaves. So historically, a lot of American blacks have been farming, preparing, cooking, and consuming chickens for centuries, but this is also unfortunately intertwined with a lot of older racist iconography, such as Coon Chicken Inn, that used racist advertising to sell fried chicken.

P.S. Yeah, I too was surprised to learn that Coon Chicken Inn was not something they just made up for the movie Ghost World.
posted by jonp72 at 5:10 PM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Rock and roll
posted by Burhanistan at 5:12 PM on April 26, 2009


Admit it, though, if you were really high and the last car had Dave Chappelle behind the wheel it would have been like the greatest moment in television history.
posted by The Straightener at 5:13 PM on April 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


the third link looks like it could have come straight out of the onion. How clueless are these people? Filming the lady yelling at the machine looked like a complete set up to me.
posted by empath at 5:15 PM on April 26, 2009


I find humorous is that people seem to take an indignant attitude that they are *owed* this chicken special

Have never been dinning on the Upper East Side when they run out of:

"Olive Oil Poached Trout with Salmon Roe, Salsify-Parmesan Puree and Apple-mushroom Broth"?

All entitlement is local.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:17 PM on April 26, 2009 [9 favorites]


OK, from the reporter's explanation of the story, we have this:
What concerned me about the story was the stereotype of black people liking fried chicken. Everyone in our story was black. We interviewed a dozen people. Even though the suburban Penfield location also ran out of chicken, and even though a whole lot of white people also like fried chicken, I was worried some viewers would think we were doing the story because of the stereotype. I was worried we were reinforcing or making fun of the stereotype.

I think the story was a story because it was a consumer issue, customers were upset, and some customers were even laughing. The conflict was just so – human. Would I have felt better about it if we talked to white people, too? Yes. Should we have gone to the Penfield store, too? Maybe. On the other hand, do we ever pause when our stories are filled with only white people? Not often - and that's sad.
Is she trying to say the "black people angry about running out of chicken" story was her way of giving more time to the black community or something? I'm having a hard time understanding what the connection is between the first and second paragraph quoted here.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:18 PM on April 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Putting the issue of race aside, what I find humorous is that people seem to take an indignant attitude that they are *owed* this chicken special.

Because it was ADVERTISED! When stores run out of stuff you get a rain check. .
posted by sixcolors at 5:20 PM on April 26, 2009


Robocop Fried Chicken
posted by Burhanistan at 5:21 PM on April 26, 2009 [9 favorites]


interplanetjanet: " I went to KFC once and they were out of chicken. I was dumbfounded. It's a store. That sells chicken. There's only one thing you have to do in this place and that's have some chicken.."

I have yet to make a visit to a Salt Lake City KFC without getting the feeling that the people on the other side of the drive-through window were not entirely sure what they were doing.

And this is the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Harlan's shade must be putting back the Jim Beam when he looks down on it.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:21 PM on April 26, 2009


I'm more disappointed than angry.

I'm hungry.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:22 PM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know, oddly enough, here in Louisville, KY, the international headquarters of Yum Brands, Inc. and spiritual home of The Colonel, fried chicken just isn't that popular. I can get BBQ ribs or a Hot Brown or Derby Pie more easily than I can get fried chicken (outside of Wal Mart or KFC).
posted by mrmojoflying at 5:22 PM on April 26, 2009


I worked at a Burger King years ago and one day, a day I happened to be running the register, we ran out of burgers. It was pretty much the worst day of my life.

For eight hours, every single transaction went like this:

"I'm sorry we're all out of burgers today."

"But, you're BURGER King."

"Yes. I know. I hate this job."
posted by bondcliff at 5:24 PM on April 26, 2009 [43 favorites]


Putting the issue of race aside, what I find humorous is that people seem to take an indignant attitude that they are *owed* this chicken special.

Because it was ADVERTISED! When stores run out of stuff you get a rain check.


If you listen closely, the woman who was angriest about Popeye's running out of chicken was angry that it had been advertised for over a month and that people are trying to feed their families. You don't monitor a $4.99 chicken special at Popeye's for one month unless you are really economically desperate. This a story about the economic strain of the recession, in addition to whatever its racial subtext might be.
posted by jonp72 at 5:26 PM on April 26, 2009 [24 favorites]


Is mefi obsessed with calling out "racism" all the time?

The regdate on your account is in 2006, right?
posted by Law Talkin' Guy at 5:26 PM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


When stores run out of stuff you get a rain check.

Or you put "while supplies last" in your ad. As far as I can tell, the purpose of rain checks is to make me wait extra time in line while the person in front of me goes through the ten minutes it apparently takes to issue one.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:29 PM on April 26, 2009


"I'm sorry we're all out of burgers today."

Lesson: Never be cowed. Even when you aren't.
posted by hal9k at 5:30 PM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure you can fry 3 times the chicken for the same price if you would get off your damn cellphone, out of the SUV, and into the damn kitchen to make some delicious fresh fried chicken instead.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:33 PM on April 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


KFC Ramadan Version:

Kuala Lumpur, More here
Dubai
India or Pakistan
posted by gman at 5:39 PM on April 26, 2009


Since fried chicken could keep for several days, longer than other preparations, and traveled well in hot weather before refrigeration was commonplace, it gained further favor in the periods of American history when segregation closed off most restaurants to the black population.

Baloney Again.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:40 PM on April 26, 2009


"C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America" made in 2004 was a mock documentary about what would have happened if the South had won the Civil War. There are a number of racist commercials based on real advertising from the late 1800s and well into the 1900s. At least a couple of them, as I recall, involved blacks and fried chicken, so there's a real history of stereotypes, whatever the origin.
posted by etaoin at 5:45 PM on April 26, 2009


KFC Ramadan Version:


Dude, there was a KFC literally right across the street from the Masjid al Harem (home of the Ka'aba) in Mecca. It's not a standalone unit, but part of a mall underneath a Hilton (though I think that's been torn down now to make way for a huge master planned thing). They also love KFC in Indonesia (where it's all halal), and there are lots of imitation chains (California Fried Chicken, Texas Fried Chicken, etc).
posted by Burhanistan at 5:48 PM on April 26, 2009


Roy Rogers make better fried chicken anyway. You can even make it in your own kitchen.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:51 PM on April 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I went to KFC once and they were out of chicken. I was dumbfounded. It's a store. That sells chicken.

Chalk it up to bad management and/or a sudden rush on supplies and/or a late delivery truck. I worked at a Wendy's that had this happen twice and one was due to manager under ordering, the other was due to some freakish and repeated rushes. I think it was the local baseball team's championships and they kept coming into our store for dinner afterwards. Since Wendy's only used fresh meat, no frozen patties, it's a careful balance between staying in stock and not letting it go bad. Both instances we were only out for like 2-4 hours and one of them was due to the delivery truck being late.

When working for a large pizza chain there were similar issues, especially with the busier stores. Sometimes they'd run outta cheese and have to buy a case or two from smaller stores. And there was the time when the ice machine at the busier broke, in the middle of summer. They were literally going around to the smaller stores and borrowing/buying ice. Why didn't they go to the grocery store and buy bags of ice? Well, the stores were rather incestuous with lots of friendships and other things going on. It came to a head one week with a party that turned into an orgy that turned into broken relationships and oddly enough a drug bust at one of the stores.

"Hey, *** is on the news! *** too! Shit that's the **** store!" Comedy ensues as some people quickly go to the bathroom.

Sometimes being an introvert and avoiding parties is a good thing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:52 PM on April 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


Somewhere around here, I have a picture of a PFK in Quebec.
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:53 PM on April 26, 2009


Ayam Goreng (fried chicken), Indonesian style. They've loved that tasty stuff since before the Dutch came.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:55 PM on April 26, 2009


They also love KFC in Indonesia (where it's all halal), and there are lots of imitation chains (California Fried Chicken, Texas Fried Chicken, etc).

Oh yeah, look at the fuckin' list of KFC's in Indonesia. As I do all over the place, I walked into one in some city (can't remember which) on Sumatra to see what the local variations were. It happened to be during Ramadan and people were feasting (during the day) on the 'Ramadan Special'.
posted by gman at 6:01 PM on April 26, 2009


Instead of lame apologies, WHAM could have solved this whole PR mess by dropping live chickens from their news helicopter.

Nah, the chickens would just fly away to sweet chickeny freedom.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:03 PM on April 26, 2009


You bastards have just wrecked my damn diet.
posted by Space Kitty at 6:12 PM on April 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


hal9k:Instead of lame apologies, WHAM could have solved this whole PR mess by dropping live chickens from their news helicopter.

ROU_Xenophobe:Nah, the chickens would just fly away to sweet chickeny freedom.

They don't want your freedom.
posted by dr_dank at 6:17 PM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


As God is my witness, I thought chickens could fly.
posted by markjamesmurphy at 6:22 PM on April 26, 2009 [7 favorites]


Poutine Frite Kentucky? I suppose the Quebec language laws would demand such a silly thing.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:25 PM on April 26, 2009


"C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America" made in 2004 was a mock documentary about what would have happened if the South had won the Civil War. There are a number of racist commercials based on real advertising from the late 1800s and well into the 1900s. At least a couple of them, as I recall, involved blacks and fried chicken, so there's a real history of stereotypes, whatever the origin.

I haven't seen the mockumentary myself, but Video Google has this material from the end credits that illustrates your point nicely.
posted by jonp72 at 6:26 PM on April 26, 2009


The chickens don;t know how to fly, and they drop into friers, right?
posted by Artw at 6:43 PM on April 26, 2009


To expand on what jonp72 said, there is very much a southern migration effect.

Eating fried chicken and fried catfish (which is also served at Popeyes) is very much a southern thing. Heck, so is all so-called soul food, even watermelon,

After the Civil War (and probably during the Civil War), there was a large migration of blacks out of the south. So for much of the rest of the country, this southern culture was, and still is, seen as being a part of the black culture. Combine that with racisim and you have lots of people making mean stereotypes about blacks eating this kind of food.

The ironic thing is, that all people in and from the south are also being insulted by these 'eat southern food means you are dumb' type stereotypes.

This reporter wasn't making mean racist comments, but she probably was subsconsiously keying in on 'this food is black food' misperception.

(Note my Mother is from the south and I grew up, in California, with this food and go to Popeyes all the time).
posted by eye of newt at 6:57 PM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why is anybody surprised? I thought it was common knowledge that WHAM was racist ever since they embarrassed black people everywhere in 1982 by trying to rap.
posted by koeselitz at 7:09 PM on April 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


...When KFC runs out of chicken, it's not so much that they ran out of raw chicken, but that they ran out of marinated chicken. KFC chicken that has not been marinated/brined overnight tastes like homemade fried chicken, which is to say, a completely different flavor profile -and generally not the preferred flavor profile. As others have mentioned a really busy day can deplete the stock of available chicken/beef patties/whatever.

In short, if you want fast food/restaurant style fried chicken, ya' gotta marinate/brine it. Oh and use way more salt than you think you need in the breading. The real secret to extra tasty food, sadly, is not love -it's salt, fat, and MSG.
posted by ill13 at 7:30 PM on April 26, 2009


How about some real down home Rush Limbaugh style racism, overt, not a few layers deep. Let's just keep hammering the point that our black president killed three black, Muslim teenagers, like their race or religion matters, except to Rush. Here is but a sample of the broadcast.
That's why I'm stunned that President Obama did this. If he knew that it was just three black Muslim teenagers in that pirate ship that were gunned down... Again, you let George Bush's Navy gun down three black teenagers out there in the open seas, and I guarantee there would be hell to pay and war crimes trials.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I stand corrected. I'm using the guidance provided for me by Victor from Boca Raton, Florida, the Russian caller. If only President Obama had known that the three Somali community organizers are actually young black Muslim teenagers, I'm sure he wouldn't have given the order to shoot. That's the correct way to look at it: If only Obama had known. Okay. So it's no big deal.
He's the leader of the conservative movement and they wonder why their power wanes.

In other news, David Duke got arrested in Prague for his racist spew.
posted by caddis at 7:35 PM on April 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


"It's true. Fried chicken is pretty universally loved. In fact, when I first went to Thailand in the late 90's there couldn't have been more than a handful of McDonald's (or other burger joints) in the country, but there sure as hell was a KFC in every god damn town."

Thailand is the Alabama of Asia.

On a tangential note, I remember taking a trip with BAMN to protest the inauguration of Bush in 2000, and after our brief bit of chanting while he drove by oblivious, for some reason everyone got really excited that we were in DC, so we had to go to a Popeye's for chicken. I don't know if it's because they don't have them in Michigan or what, but I could never figure out what the big deal was for all these white crusty "activists" about Popeye's and why we couldn't go somewhere that had vegetarian food I could eat.
posted by klangklangston at 7:38 PM on April 26, 2009


I have lunch about once a month with three black ladies at work. We all bring in one dish and share. Tansy and I swap soul food recipes (she got my BBQ recipe, I know how to make her delicious collard greens), Verna usually makes something jerked or curried since she's from Jamaica and Lucy brings in dessert. Sometimes my Palestinian co-worker gets her mom to make grape leaf rolls or spinach pies.
posted by sciurus at 7:41 PM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yup, even McDonald's has fried chicken in Thailand.
posted by gman at 7:48 PM on April 26, 2009


Sciurus, are you going to share recipes, or are you just here to make us all hungry?
posted by echo target at 8:02 PM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]




Poutine Frite Kentucky

So that's...cheese curds, gravy and french fries...that are fried...Kentucky-style? Who knew there was a way to make poutine even more bad for you?

(I will never forget "Big Steel Homme" as the ultimate stupid language law example)
posted by biscotti at 8:16 PM on April 26, 2009




I understand, but even in his own words he is off the wall.
posted by caddis at 8:24 PM on April 26, 2009


Thailand is the Alabama of Asia.

this made LOL hard.
posted by liza at 8:42 PM on April 26, 2009


I've never understood he stereotype of black people loving fried chicken. Of course they do. Everybody loves fried chicken. Fried chicken is fucking delicious. ... It's the same thing about Jews and money. How is that an insult? Who doesn't love money? What are these stereotypes?
For what it's worth, I strongly dislike both fried chicken and money.
posted by Spire at 9:03 PM on April 26, 2009


I'll take Spire's share of both.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:05 PM on April 26, 2009


This whole brew-ha-ha is fine and all, but it's no Leprechaun in Mobile, Alabama.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:09 PM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


KFC Giving Away FREE Samples Of Their New Kentucky Grilled Chicken On April 27
posted by Sailormom at 9:18 PM on April 26, 2009


Ok, you see these commercials where the CEO of KFC says they are going to give away a free piece of GRILLED chicken (KGC?) to any dumbass who walks in the door, because it's so tasty and healthy, and the fucking guy, the CEO of Kentucky Fried Mother Fucking Chicken is Australian or something?

These are the end days. They really are.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:41 PM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


And there was the time when the ice machine broke... it came to a head one week with a party that turned into an orgy that turned into broken relationships and oddly enough a drug bust at one of the stores.

Um... are the TV movie rights still available?

My crappy jobs were way less interesting.
posted by rokusan at 9:42 PM on April 26, 2009


More for me!
posted by Space Kitty at 9:46 PM on April 26, 2009


Fried money is the new bacon.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:52 PM on April 26, 2009


I thought Popeye's sold fish. Isn't Popeye a sailor? Help me with this.

It was named for "Popeye" Doyle -- Gene Hackman's French Connection character. (My parents used to be invested in a REIT that owned fast-food properties across the Midwest, mostly Popeye's.)

the CEO of Kentucky Fried Mother Fucking Chicken is Australian or something?

That's only the half of it. He was born in South Africa!

Anyway, I thought the end times was when I went to the drive-through and they had four recipes and four combos, resulting in sixteen possible choices. Or something like that. Wevs, I couldn't get the one I used to get, even with all that choice. I think that's when I stopped going to KFC.
posted by dhartung at 10:16 PM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Was the 4.99 deal a loss to the franchise? Was the franchise required to participate whether they liked it or not, or to somehow get penalized for not participating?

Seems too easy to say to yourself, given a month to think about it - what if I sell so much chicken I start to run out? Can I have some resupply standing by? It also seems easy to start monitoring the sales rate as soon as the doors open and project what's going to happen by the end of the day. Ineptitude that gross and widespread is just too coincidental to be the answer.

Could it be that the franchises just didn't have enough cash to up-front the money for that much chicken? Or did they sabotage the promotion foisted on them by Corporate HQ?

Man, that could have been such a better news story.
posted by ctmf at 10:22 PM on April 26, 2009


I always loved that Popeye's chicken was named after Popeye Doyle.

You know why? Because that's crazy.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:28 PM on April 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


All you people expressing incredulity at restaurants running out of food are really showing your not-having-worked-in-the-food-industry privilege.
posted by episteborg at 10:35 PM on April 26, 2009 [6 favorites]


That's fucking awesome. Now I want to go to there.
posted by Artw at 10:37 PM on April 26, 2009


Publix has surprisingly good fried chicken.

You know, for when Popeyes is out.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:46 PM on April 26, 2009


"I'm sorry we're all out of burgers today."

Lesson: Never be cowed. Even when you aren't.


Ha! Burgers... cowed. I get it.

But what's with this PopeYes place? Some kind of Roman Catholic subliminal optimism project?
posted by Forrest Greene at 10:55 PM on April 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, I laughed at the video. I'm going to hell.
posted by Bageena at 10:56 PM on April 26, 2009


And more chicken.
posted by drhydro at 11:07 PM on April 26, 2009


The second link contains idiocy? You weren't kidding.

come on, it is high time that everyone stop worrying about being so politically correct or that they may be stepping on toes, it is these things that create the problems - no one would actually pay much attention if it weren't for the "PC POLICE"

Fuck am I sick of this tired old argument. Every time some outfit publicly displays its tin ear for racial matters, you can be sure some talk radio fan or another will make this classic complaint about how all our social ills can be tracked back to "everyone having to be PC." How revelatory is it of such peoples' worldview that they act so fucking put out about a social expectation that they treat fellow citizens with respect?

I especially loathe this argument when it's used as the one above - phrases like "PC POLICE" suggesting that the bigots who'd like to go on treating minorities with zero respect are somehow a downtrodden, under-privileged class. "Don't speak your mind, the PC POLICE will get you!" Shove it up your ass, buddy. Thanks to attitudes such as this, being the wrong race in the wrong place can still run someone afoul of the "actual police."

As for the meat of the matter in this post, I don't think there's anyone in the world, regardless of race or creed, who wouldn't be disappointed when they've spent a whole drive getting stoked for some fried chicken only to find out it's unavailable. I can tell you that, after checking out these links, this caucasion northwesterner is goddamn annoyed with the lack of fried chicken in his apartment.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:31 PM on April 26, 2009 [17 favorites]


KFC Ramadan Version:

They have KFC Chicken Rice out here in Malaysia and Fish burgers in Singapore. Pizza Hut (Singapore, am not sure about Malaysia) offers dates as well for their Ramadan specials.
posted by the cydonian at 12:05 AM on April 27, 2009


"C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America" made in 2004 was a mock documentary about what would have happened if the South had won the Civil War. There are a number of racist commercials based on real advertising from the late 1800s and well into the 1900s. At least a couple of them, as I recall, involved blacks and fried chicken, so there's a real history of stereotypes, whatever the origin.

There are a lot of stories - how true I can't tell - that do the rounds in New Zealand, which was, apparently, the top performer in the KFC world in the 70s and early 80s (before McDonalds rolled across the country); the best performing KFC in the country, and allegedly the world, at one point was in a predominantly Polynesian area of Auckland. One story concerns the advertising for KFC in New Zealand needing to be done on the sly and scrubbed before head office saw it, because it was full of, well, brown people.
posted by rodgerd at 3:42 AM on April 27, 2009


EatTheWeak: I especially loathe this argument when it's used as the one above - phrases like "PC POLICE" suggesting that the bigots who'd like to go on treating minorities with zero respect are somehow a downtrodden, under-privileged class. "Don't speak your mind, the PC POLICE will get you!" Shove it up your ass, buddy. Thanks to attitudes such as this, being the wrong race in the wrong place can still run someone afoul of the "actual police."

So... you're saying that the station really was being racist for airing that segment?

I hate the Limbaugh-ites running their mouth about the "PC POLICE" as much as you do, I think, but there is a legitimate argument to be made that 'political correctness' can easily turn into a joke. Some time in the last ten or fifteen years we've all forgotten this, probably between the time that even the most mainstream conservatives turned into raving nutters as the libertarians somehow all disappeared and the time when we all started paying more attention to foreign affairs and a bit less to our own domestic squabbles, but there are two sides to the story. It seems to me that you can very easily go too far in trying to avoid racism if your motive for doing so is fear and paranoia rather than genuine concern for the human race; and it often is, especially amongst us liberals. This is the sort of thing that used to be called 'liberal guilt;' the kind of stance that makes us white liberals puff up when we're talking to our friends and families about how magnificent MLK Jr. and the civil rights movement are, but then lets us freeze up and not know what to say or do when we suddenly find ourselves in the company of black people on the bus or in line at the airport and the same subjects come up. It's the same thing that makes us sit here and worry about whether it's racist to say the words 'Irishman' or 'Eye-talian' when there are people actually being beaten up in American streets over the color of their skin. It's not only trivial; there's a real danger, I think, that us white people can really forget what racism is and what the dangers are simply because we've insulated ourselves so carefully from its realities by removing every mention of it from our speech and by never having to defend ourselves for what we say or do. Stopping racism isn't about not saying particular words or about not airing a news show that includes black people who happen to enjoy fried chicken, and, at worst, I think it's almost insulting to the memory of the people who actually fought for civil rights to act as though we're carrying on the fight by quibbling about our terms. Martin Luther King, Jr. was already way ahead of us on this point a year before he died; he knew exactly what the next stage of the fight would be. He knew the next stage of the fight against racism would move the battle from political equality to economic equality. I think we can rest assured that it won't have to do with cleansing our phraseology of deleterious words, nor of making absolutely sure that everything we say is 'politically correct.'
posted by koeselitz at 3:46 AM on April 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


the cydonian: Pizza Hut (Singapore, am not sure about Malaysia) offers dates as well for their Ramadan specials.

Not that Pizza Hut actually makes pizzas, but I would like to try a pizza with dates on it.
posted by koeselitz at 3:48 AM on April 27, 2009


I worked at a small family run cantonese chinese restaurant (not my family) for two years. A lot of awesome memories come from that. One of the not awesome ones? Running out of rice.

As bondcliff mentioned, some things make for a BULLSHIT day. Running out of rice at a chinese restaurant is most certainly one of them. This place has been open for 26 years and has all kinds of quirky insufferable regulars? EVEN BETTER. This was only topped by the day I was working alone on Valentines day. I am reasonably certain I suffer from PTSD.

Also, I've had the pleasure of working at Starbucks on several occasions that were assuredly nonsense as well. Heat wave coming through? NO PROBLEM, I'LL JUST THROW OUT ALL THE ICE AND NOT MAKE MORE. Of COURSE that's what I did, you FUCKING IDIOTS. We don't have ice on purpose, how could it be anything else? OOoohh, and the day I RAN OUT OF GODDAMN ESPRESSO BEANS.

Man, I fucking hate retail/foodservice.
posted by Stunt at 4:18 AM on April 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Who knew there was a way to make poutine even more bad for you?

Smoke did.
posted by gman at 4:59 AM on April 27, 2009


Regarding fast-food consumers and sense of entitlement (and tangentially related to the racism element of the OP):

I used to do my laundry at a laundromat near my apartment. I usually went on Saturday mornings. There was a submarine sandwich shop right next to the laundromat in the corner plaza, run by an Indian man. Anyway, one time I go around noon and there's a mullet-haired white man standing outside the sub shop. He's pacing and grumbling, telling someone by the laundromat door that the store was supposed to be open by noon, and it was now 12h15, and he had to pick up something to eat before going to work.

The shop owner arrives a few minutes later to open up, and the grumbling man starts yelling at him that he's going to be late for work, that he's hungry, and the owner deserves to go broke because he can't be bothered to open on time. Then he shouts "I HOPE YOU GET DEPORTED BACK TO YOUR OWN COUNTRY, ASSHOLE!" and stomps away leaving the shop owner staring gape-mouthed in shock.

The weird part was that there were other places around if the guy wanted food. There was a Harvey's restaurant half a block down the street, and a convenience store two doors down at the other end of the plaza. But for some reason, this guy felt entitled to his sub sandwich.

I ended up buying lunch from the sub shop about ten minutes later, only because I was hungry -- for obvious reasons, the owner didn't seem in the mood for small talk that day. When I tell this story to other people, I am sometimes told that if I had ever worked in customer service, I would not have been as shocked as I was by the man's actions.
posted by spoobnooble at 5:17 AM on April 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


If you listen closely, the woman who was angriest about Popeye's running out of chicken was angry that it had been advertised for over a month and that people are trying to feed their families. You don't monitor a $4.99 chicken special at Popeye's for one month unless you are really economically desperate. This a story about the economic strain of the recession, in addition to whatever its racial subtext might be.

according to these

statistics


blacks make up 38.5% of Rochester residents, whites 44.3%. So give or take a few % their populations are roughly equal. However 17.9% of whites live in poverty, verses 34% of blacks. Doing the arithmetic, there are about twice as many blacks living in poverty than whites. So yes, I think there may have been an economic undercurrent, that the smirking newswomen may not have grasped.
posted by thermonuclear.jive.turkey at 6:48 AM on April 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


Topix forums are filled with the worst reactionaries of the internet. I used to visit their forum for my city but stopped after constantly hearing the stupidest arguments and biases known to man. The people on that forum will find something to complain about in anything. If Jesus came back to Earth and stopped all wars and made everyone happy, Topix forums would be filled with people bitching about it.
posted by JJ86 at 7:15 AM on April 27, 2009


Metafilter: How you gonna run out of chicken?
posted by rusty at 7:19 AM on April 27, 2009


All you people expressing incredulity at restaurants running out of food are really showing your not-having-worked-in-the-food-industry privilege

No, honestly I worked at a Ponderosa when I was in high school. It had the crappiest steaks known to man, but we never ran out of steak! We did sometimes get deliveries of crate after crate of brown lettuce. Then I'd spend my whole shift bringing out brown lettuce to replace the brown lettuce on the salad bar.

"It's all brown, what do you want me to do, paint it?"
posted by interplanetjanet at 7:24 AM on April 27, 2009


Please hope me: Why this thread did I read? Hungry I am now, and fried chicken there is none to be had. What is wrong with this Colonel Chicken? Why isn't his cluckiness in Switzerland? (don't care for Popeyes, too spicy for my taste. Church's is better though, IMO).
posted by Goofyy at 7:35 AM on April 27, 2009


My saddest KFC story: when I first moved to Montreal, I didn't really know anyone and it was starting to get cold and I lived in a neighborhood where nobody spoke English and everybody spoke French with an accent that basically annihilated my meager language skills. So it was American Thanksgiving, and I didn't know anyone who was doing anything, and the rest of my family was back in Kentucky having a big ol' family Thanksgiving, with turkey, etc. And then I remembered the PFK (Poulet Frite du Kentucky, I think) within walking distance from my apartment. I go, and they already were selling the Bonne Fetes! meal, for Christmas, which was like three pieces of chicken, a little thing of potato salad and a biscuit. And I am excited, because it has been a WHILE since I have had a real god damned biscuit. So I buy my little meal, and a big thing of Pepsi that they don't put ice in, and I carry it back to my tiny apartment and open up the box.
I had forgotten that "biscuit", in French, means "cookie". Instead of the buttery, warm biscuit I was expecting, I had a stale Christmas tree cookie. They don't even HAVE biscuits at PFKs. It was almost as bad as the time I went to an A&W in Montreal and they hadn't even heard of root beer floats.
posted by 235w103 at 7:48 AM on April 27, 2009 [7 favorites]


In the UK the various KFC knock-offs, which are often Pakistani owned and run

Yorkshire Fried Chicken (Halal) proves the rule.

[NOT ETYMOLOGIST-IST]
posted by asok at 8:35 AM on April 27, 2009


So yes, I think there may have been an economic undercurrent, that the smirking newswomen may not have grasped.

Which makes the whole thing start seeming more than a little tragic. I'm reminded of this stranger piece on the Denny's superbowl breakfast giveaway.
posted by Artw at 8:51 AM on April 27, 2009


"It was named for "Popeye" Doyle -- Gene Hackman's French Connection character. (My parents used to be invested in a REIT that owned fast-food properties across the Midwest, mostly Popeye's.)"

So Popeye's IS racist.
posted by klangklangston at 8:53 AM on April 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


You're a print reporter. You have integrity.

That's the funniest thing I have read all day.
posted by phearlez at 8:59 AM on April 27, 2009


Okay, I'm totally going to have chicken for lunch today.
posted by box at 9:11 AM on April 27, 2009


Just to add my racial anecdata, the Popeye's in College Park, MD was always full of asians.
posted by electroboy at 9:16 AM on April 27, 2009


My favorite McDonald's menu item is the bacon egg and cheese biscuit. One summer my buddy and I roadtriped to Canada (we are from Texas, but picked up an ailing family member's car in NJ).

Anyhoo, in Canada we are hungry in the AM, and we spot a McD's. Walk in, and talking to the pimply faced 16yo girl behind the counter I ask for my biscuit sandwich. She does her best hand on her hip condescension look and says: "uh, the biscuit, thats a Southern US thing"

I wanted to ask her how working at a local ethnic Canadian food restaurant was, but figured arguing with some kid wasn't worth it. I got the egg and cheese bagel instead, which I guess is more authentic Canadian or something.

But ya, at Popeyes its all about the biscuit.
posted by rosswald at 9:49 AM on April 27, 2009


OMG Fast Food chains adapt to markets!
posted by Artw at 10:03 AM on April 27, 2009


This thread is an ad for Popeyes. So, of course, I Googled to see if there was one near enough to walk to at lunch, although I was pretty sure there wasn't. Google, that lying bastard, returns that there is one in the parking lot across the street from my building. Hmph.

I'm pretty sure I would've noticed it by now.

It's the red beans and rice that makes Popeyes worth the trip
posted by dirtdirt at 10:08 AM on April 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Just in case anyone's tempted to be as stupid as I was, don't scroll down on the YouTube links...

I think I need to get printed on my mouse.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 10:10 AM on April 27, 2009


Thanks to this thread, I got KFC for lunch. I should have stuck to my usual source for fried chicken goodness when I have a craving, Bojangles. It's so much better than the Colonel's chicken it's not even funny, and has much better dirty rice than Popeye's.
posted by notashroom at 10:23 AM on April 27, 2009


Well, the stores were rather incestuous with lots of friendships and other things going on. It came to a head one week with a party that turned into an orgy that turned into broken relationships and oddly enough a drug bust at one of the stores.

! Is this, like, a franchise requirement? I never worked at KFC as a kid but I knew people who did and what you described seemed to be the fringe benefit/main benefit/occupational hazard.

But I've just discovered that the McGriddle wasn't just a crazy Japanese invention so my mind is off on a different fast food tangent at the moment.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:45 AM on April 27, 2009


White girl here. I learned to make fried chicken and biscuits and gravy when I was like ten years old. To this day it's about the only thing I know how to cook that doesn't come out of a box or involve a microwave.
posted by desjardins at 10:49 AM on April 27, 2009


One summer I worked at the Jerk Store...
posted by mazola at 10:59 AM on April 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


Pretty tame compared to that time in Hoboken...
posted by mikepop at 11:25 AM on April 27, 2009


Thanks to attitudes such as this, being the wrong race in the wrong place can still run someone afoul of the "actual police."

Please explain how a stance against the linguistic niceties known as "political correctness" enables or facilitates police abuses perpetrated against racial minorities. If possible, provide specific examples.
posted by Law Talkin' Guy at 12:16 PM on April 27, 2009


"When I tell this story to other people, I am sometimes told that if I had ever worked in customer service, I would not have been as shocked as I was by the man's actions."

I worked in a 7-11 in the Bay Area when I couldn't find work elsewhere. Almost all of my co-workers were from other countries. They got that sort of treatment on a daily basis. These are people who are from India and Bulgaria, mostly. They were all accused derisively at one time or another of being Muslim, mostly the Indians, I think because their skin was brown. The Indians working there were all Sikhs, though they didn't wear the traditional headdress (which is called a patka or kirpan, and it's not the same as a keffiyeh or hijab or other traditional Arab headdress). I think the reason they didn't wear a headdress is because of incidents like this (admittedly, a minor incident, but not atypical). It's sad, and unfortunately it happens everywhere, even in the very multicultural Bay Area.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:38 PM on April 27, 2009


A few weeks ago my darling fiancée and I stopped in 7-11 to get a few slurpees before a long drive. We were waiting to pay as a fellow was arguing the the person at the counter - whose English was not great - over some candy bar price. Something about the sign saying 2 for 1 or 2 for $1, whatever. While the guy at the counter wasn't communicating very effectively, neither was the customer - he kept gesturing at the rack which was all of three steps away and I wondered why he didn't just go over there and bring the sign back or... whatever.

Instead it was easier to get loud, I suppose, and in the end he threw up his hands in disgust, said forget it, and stomped out. As this effeminate, toned, tight-shirt and short-shorts garbed individual headed for the door he cowardly mumbled something under his breath about how the clerk should go back to his own country.

The irony of it was staggering.
posted by phearlez at 2:04 PM on April 27, 2009


I worked at Taco Bell 13 years ago when I was 15. We ran out of taco meat once. Probably because I live in a very, very small town where there were hours between customers sometimes, nobody seemed to care. I wish I could feel all ya'lls pain, but I can't.

I keep seeing these commercials for KFC, that they're going to give away a free piece of chicken later this month or something because they're switching up to some new, delicious recipe of even more secret herbs and spices. I wonder if we'll see a repeat of this as people fall upon KFC in a ravenous hunger for free chicken. Then, just now, after wondering that, I wondered why I waste what little brain power I have on such stupid ponderings. Now I'm leaving.
posted by Bageena at 2:17 PM on April 27, 2009


I used to love it when my boss at [famous pizza delivery chain] would run out of dough, and send me to another store to buy some of theirs. Since it was a minimum of 40 miles to the next store, and my car got great mileage, I made bank on my gas allowance. And he paid my hourly wage for the whole trip. I made one of those trips at least twice a month.
posted by nomisxid at 2:27 PM on April 27, 2009


The irony of it was staggering.

I suppose you're implying that the irate fellow in question is gay? Unfortunately, gay people are just as frequently racist/ageist/sexist/otherwise-bigoted as anyone else. As is any other minority, really. I've seen too much of it to find it ironic anymore. Unfortunate that getting screwed over by the majority doesn't give many people the sympathy you'd expect or hope for.
posted by luftmensch at 2:28 PM on April 27, 2009


I've worked in a Subway that ran out of bread.
posted by Cyrano at 3:15 PM on April 27, 2009


I once worked at an In-n-Out Burger and we ran out of Out.

"Sorry," I would say to the customers. "We're all out of Out. Try the In, it's pretty good."

"What?" they would ask irately. "What the fuck is this? I thought this was the Christing In-n-Out Burger, and you're telling me you don't have any fucking Out? Christ on his fucking sticks." They were a blasphemous bunch.

"Yeah, sorry, I know, it sucks," I'd say. I was a good sport. "But seriously, the In is pretty good."

The response was always the same.

"Yeah, all right," they'd say, "Gimme one animal style."
posted by hifiparasol at 3:59 PM on April 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


This is why three months into a Bravia 46" I still do not have an antennae or cable hook-up.
posted by buzzman at 4:34 PM on April 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


buckets of drool are running down my chin as I dream of chicken, crispy luscious fried chicken....biscuit....mmmmm....chicken.....sshhhlllrrrp...
posted by supermedusa at 5:48 PM on April 27, 2009


I'm there, too, buzzman.

But what was your first DVD? Ours was The Fifth Element. Gorgeous.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:43 PM on April 27, 2009


I don't know why I've defrosted my free-range chicken breasts for dinner now because all I want is a box of Oppressed Fried Chicken.
posted by slightlybewildered at 10:34 PM on April 27, 2009


In related news....Oprah buys you chicken.
posted by cashman at 1:50 PM on May 5, 2009


WTF is this "Grilled chicken"?
posted by Artw at 2:05 PM on May 5, 2009


Also where is the Frak Bucket I was promised?
posted by Artw at 2:05 PM on May 5, 2009


The KFC free chicken promotion is a disaster because the corporate parent decided to pass all the costs on to the franchised stores, who had no interest in giving away free chicken. By comparison, El Pollo Loco will honor the KFC coupons on Mother's Day. (via)
posted by Sailormom at 5:31 AM on May 8, 2009


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