Not all is peaceful in the social media-verse. Indeed, restaurant tech heads keeping an eye on that ever-surprising realm were witnesses this week to controversy, a slap at political correctness and some old-fashioned competitive sniping.
Here are some of the highlights.
Wendy’s blasts rivals’ ‘freezy diskz’
You might think you’re viewing another late-night commercial from the folks who brought us the Popiel Pocket Fisherman and the Shamwow. But the videos on a website called Othr-Guyz.com are the latest salvos in the burger wars, fired this time by Wendy’s.
The videos tout a product called Freezy Diskz—hockey-puck-like disks that can be used as drink coasters, checkers, a spinning plate for party tricks or something to level a wobbly table. They also happen to be the frozen burger patties used by virtually all the major burger chains except Wendy’s, whose ground beef is shipped unfrozen to stores.
Wendy’s is driving consumers to the site from the chain’s Facebook page. “For eating, there’s the Dave’s Double,” teases the post, referring to Wendy’s signature burger. “For everything else, there’s Freezy Diskz from Othr Guyz LLC!”
KFC prank tweaks tradition
Comedian and TV star David Alan Grier touched off a firestorm when he tweeted that he was next in line to portray KFC’s founder and icon, Colonel Harland Sanders. Was the chicken chain really going to break with 80 years of tradition by enlisting an African-American to play the whiter-than-rice Kentucky gent? Was it political correctness run amok?
Some media believed it. So did many denizens of the Twitter-verse, who were both pro and con on the idea.
Even KFC played along to a degree, suggesting in tweets that it would like to discuss Grier’s interest in the Colonel over a $5 Fill Up meal, the chain’s current bargain deal. But eventually it felt obliged to issue a statement dashing the speculation and explaining that it was just some good-natured joshing from Grier.
Meanwhile, the Colonel continues to be portrayed by a parade of white comedians. The white suit and string tie are currently being worn by Jim Gaffigan.
Making white men tip more
Racial disparity figures squarely into a development this week that sounded as if it should be a hoax. A new app aims to weigh against income disparities by calculating a restaurant tip on the basis of the user’s gender and race. White men pay the most, followed by white women. Men of color pay less, and women of color pay the least.
The app, currently only available for Droid phones, is called EquiTable. Its slogan: “It doesn’t split the bill equally—it splits it equitably.”
You can see it online here.