Yikes, Burger King just lost a few customers. The burger chain company opted to take a gender disparity in the restaurant industry with a new scholarship program and a tweet, saying “Women belong in the kitchen.” Obviously as expected, the reception didn’t go quite as well. The fast-food chains United Kingdom’s division sparked an outcry when critics and social media users accused the brand of using a sexist trope clickbait. The Burger King Foundation, which is the company’s United States-based non-profit arm, published a full-page ad with similar language in Monday’s print edition of The New York Times. “Women belong in the kitchen” was bolded in a large font that took up a lot of the ads above the fold space.
The ad read, “Fine dining kitchens, food truck kitchens, award-winning kitchens, casual dining kitchens, ghost kitchens, Burger King kitchens. If there’s a professional kitchen, women belong there. But can you guess who’s leading those kitchens these days? Exactly. Only 24% of chef positions in America are occupied by women. Want to talk to head chefs? The number drops to fewer than 7%.”
“Women Belong in the Kitchen”
The Burger King foundations H.E.R., which stands for Helping Equalize Restaurants, scholarship will grant $25,000 to 2 current female team members. The women must be employed by Burger King or a fanchise, have plans to enroll in an accredited two or four-year culinary program or university in the United States during the 2020 to 2023 Academic Year. They must also have a high school diploma or GED and demonstrate financial need and substantial work experience. According to the foundation’s website, it will establish similar programs in an attic, Burger King spokesperson Adriana Lauricella stated,
“We are committed to helping women break through a male-dominated culinary culture in the world’s fine dining restaurants — and sometimes that requires drawing attention to the problem we’re trying to help fix. Our tweet in the UK today was designed to draw attention to the fact that only a small percentage of chefs and head chefs are women. It was our mistake to not include the full explanation in our initial tweet and have adjusted our activity moving forward because we’re sure that when people read the entirety of our commitment, they will share our belief in this important opportunity.”
KFC Gaming Responds to Burger King
KFC Gaming tweeted a meme in response to the ad with the caption, “the best time to delete this post was immediately after posting it. The second best time is now.” But the Burger King UK account decided not to delete the tweet. Instead, it tweeted, “Why would we delete a tweet that’s drawing attention to a huge lack of female representation in our industry, we thought you’d be on board with this as well? We’ve launched a scholarship to help give more of our female employees the chance to pursue a culinary career.” BRB, throwing a Burger King burger into the trashcan.