Maybe I have a particularly sensitive stomach, but I was sickened when I first read about a Wendy's
As Alyce Lomax mentioned, there was an urban-legend feel to the event. This is the kind of anecdote each generation passes down to the next. And although not technically an urban legend in this case, it seems that the whole thing was most likely a scam. That's good news for Wendy's shareholders, who must feel as if they'd dodged a bullet.
All of this leads me to Wendy's weekend promotion. Today, tomorrow, and Sunday, Wendy's is giving away Junior Frostys for free. The executives at the company believe that millions will take them up on this act of generosity. They're probably correct, but still... shouldn't Wendy's do everything in its power not to remind people about the finger-in-the-chili thing? I don't think there's anything wrong with the initiative, per se. It just strikes me as somewhat odd that Wendy's President and COO Tom Mueller would say in the release announcing the promotion, "We're thanking our loyal customers for their support following the incident in San Jose."
I'm sure many readers out there are reading this Take and saying to themselves, "What the heck is this fool (note the small 'f') prattling on about? I want my Frosty!" But I look at it from a different perspective. I go to McDonald's
I think Wendy's should have just run the promo with no mention of the finger incident. The company's sales may have suffered following the finger debacle, but it has a good menu, and people love the brand. An energetic marketing campaign that focused on those famous square, cut-no-corners burger patties would have been enough to bring customers back -- even people like me who are still a bit grossed out.
We'll hear enough about the finger fraud as the story plays itself out in legal venues and shareholder communications; consumers, I'm sure, just want to forget.
Related menu items on fast food:
- Wendy's: Insert Finger (Joke) Here
- Wendy's Gives Patron the Finger
- McDonald's Merry March
- Wendy's Downhill March
- Fast Facts on Fast Food
Am I being too sensitive? Is Wendy's doing the right thing? Make your opinion known on the Wendy's discussion board.
Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns none of the companies mentioned.