Hey, lapses happen. But the restaurant gaffs of recent days were as lacking in good sense as figuring a cow would do just fine in the spare bedroom. Here’s how the judgment-impaired figured they’d get some fresh milk.
A Charles Manson commemorative doughnut
Paying homage to a pyscho killer is seldom a smart marketing move. But the perpetrator here was Portland, Ore.-based Voodoo Doughnut, a cult favorite in part because of its demonstrated sympathies for the outrageous. What could be edgier than noting the death of devil seed Charles Manson with a special one-time-only doughnut?
The slip in sense might have passed unnoticed if the chain hadn’t crowed about the tribute on social media. Many of the six-unit chain’s fans are presumably too young to remember the terror Manson’s “family” evoked with its brutal murders in the late 1960s. But slaughter is a tough sell under any circumstances, as Voodoo learned from its more outspoken Twitter followers.
The doughnut was retracted, but not until wags had joshed the chain’s bakers for overlooking the creative opportunities afforded by Ted Bundy and Robert Mugabe.
The sausage nativity
People might bristle at tributes to madmen, but they can turn downright rabid over perceived slights to their Lord. Which is why a well-known bakery chain in the United Kingdom should have thought longer and harder about equating a sausage roll to baby Jesus.
Greggs had to apologize for thinking it’d be funny to put a dough-clad sausage link in the manger of the creche that was photographed for the chain’s first-ever holiday calendar. Instead of paying homage to the Messiah, the three wise men in the scene are kneeling in reverence to the British street food.
Some Christians have called for a boycott of the 1,700-unit chain during one of its busiest seasons.
Dissing the neighborhood
A usual takeaway from Marketing 101 was also disastrously ignored in Denver, where residents of the historically black neighborhood of RiNo didn’t like the snooty attitude a local coffee joint has taken toward its home turf. “Happily Gentrifying the Neighborhood Since 2014,” read a sandwich board posted outside Ink! Coffee.
That was on one side of the sign. The other panel read, “Nothing Says Gentrification Like Being Able to Order a Cortado.”
Locals felt the shop was turning up its nose at the neighborhood’s heritage, and making fun of what reports indicated is a shift in the area’s demographics. Those stories don’t quash the notion that RiNo is indeed being gentrified. But the NAACP and offended individuals say the quip from Ink! is disrespectful, and have mounted a series of protests to shut it down.
The sign is no longer posted.