Frankie's, That Viral FB Post, and Calls to Boycott: A Short History

Is it time to ditch the buffalo wing spot?

frankie's
PHOTO BY Facebook/Frankie's New York Buffalo Wings, Screenshot/Ajie Jugueta on Facebook ILLUSTRATION Warren Espejo

(SPOT.ph) Manileños may love their food, but principles come first and this is especially true when you add the upcoming elections to the mix. Case in point: a recent incident involving Frankie's New York Buffalo Wings had customers calling out the buffalo wing joint for an incident allegedly involving their staff—to which Frankie's issued a statement.

Here's what went down with Frankie's:

In a now-deleted Facebook post, user Ajie Jugueta recalled an incident and expressed his disappointment with the staff of Frankie's BGC Crossroads branch, where supporters of Presidential candidate Leni Robredo were dining in after the recent PasigLaban rally. A member of the staff, he recounts, passed by a table and shouted "BBM!"—and the rest of the staff laughed, even when members of the table asked to speak with the manager. "Some of the staff were joking around that they didn't even want to clean up after the table simply because they were Leni supporters," Jugueta shares; members of the staff would also go to the back area to avoid serving customers in pink [thus expressing support for Robredo].

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frankie's
Staff members from the BGC Crossroads branch of Frankie's New York Buffalo Wings were allegedly mistreating customers who were supporters of Robredo. 
PHOTO BY Screenshot/Ajie Jugueta on Facebook

Frankie's issued a statement and apology, explaining that they're "reviewing the full report from the team member in question" and that they'd be treating the matter "objectively." "Proper due process will be accorded." The restaurant also points out that the view of any individual team member "does not reflect that of the management or of the whole organization." "We respect people from all sides of the political spectrum and that this should never be a basis for not giving basic courtesy and respect, especially coming from us in the service industry."

frankie's
In response, Frankie's posted a statement on social media. 
PHOTO BY Facebook/Frankie's New York Buffalo Wings
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"Like you, we dream of a better Philippines for everyone, and we promise to keep trying to do our part in helping achieve this. We know that we are, and should be better than this. We humbly and sincerely apologize for this incident."

The Backlash

This statement didn't seem to be taken too well by people, however, with comments on the post expressing disappointment.

frankie's incident
PHOTO BY Screenshot/Frankie's New York Buffalo Wings on Facebook
frankie's incident
PHOTO BY Screenshot/Frankie's New York Buffalo Wings on Facebook
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Some even went on to state they wouldn't be ordering from the brand, at least for the time being—or even calling for a boycott.

frankie's incident
PHOTO BY Screenshot/Frankie's New York Buffalo Wings on Facebook
frankie's incident
PHOTO BY Screenshot/Frankie's New York Buffalo Wings on Facebook
frankie's incident
PHOTO BY Screenshot/Frankie's New York Buffalo Wings on Facebook
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frankie's incident
PHOTO BY Screenshot/Frankie's New York Buffalo Wings on Facebook
frankie's incident
PHOTO BY Screenshot/Frankie's New York Buffalo Wings on Facebook
frankie's incident
PHOTO BY Screenshot/Frankie's New York Buffalo Wings on Facebook
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This is understandable of course—not only given the country's current political climate and nearing election date, but also the flat-out unprofessional behavior of the staff. Treating anyone differently based on their political affiliations is never cool, and this is especially true when you're dealing with paying customers.

It is, however, worth rethinking a total boycott—especially in light of the F&B industry still trying to recover and picking up the pieces the pandemic has left behind. Recall that numerous restaurants—many of them homegrown spots that were near and dear to our hearts—have closed in the past two years, leaving not just their loyal customers heartbroken, but also staff and service members (many with family members to support and mouths to feed) unemployed.

And if the ultimate goal of the elections is a better tomorrow for Filipinos the country over—not just those at the top of the socioeconomic triangle—perhaps the better route to be taken is one that's more constructive, rather than one that feeds on anger and disdain. This is something the original poster Jugueta themself points out in edits of their viral post: "Let this be a lesson of what TRUE respect really should be instead." Radical love, as they say, is encouraged.

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