Chick-fil-A is returning to its original BBQ sauce after months of protests from angry customers online.
On Tuesday, the chain announced that is is bringing back its original barbecue sauce, just a few months after it replaced its classic barbecue sauce with a variation called smokehouse barbecue.
According to Chick-fil-A, the backlash was almost immediate when the chain rolled out the new sauce in late July.
It’s not unusual for a menu change to lead to some degree of resistance from committed customers. However, typically the resistance fades over time. When it came to the smokehouse barbecue, the backlash only grew.
More than 2,000 people have signed a petition that was started in July, calling for Chick-fil-A to bring back the original BBQ sauce.
“I’ve been going to Chick-fil-A for years and always made sure to get ranch and BBQ sauce,” one customer wrote on Chick-fil-A’s Facebook page soon after the condiment swap. “Today was the first time in my entire life I said no to having Chick-fil-A simply because the new sauces disappointed me.”
Online, the pressure grew, as Twitter users banded together using the hashtags “BringBackTheBBQ” and “BringBackTheSauce.”
— Danny⚡️ (@Teenage5Runaway) July 11, 2016
— Abby Marsh (@_abbymarsh) August 19, 2016
Now, Chick-fil-A is taking notice — and making the change.
The original barbecue sauce will return to stores starting on November 7, the chain says. Chick-fil-A announced the return of the classic sauce on social media on Tuesday, with a video of employees — including members of the menu development team — reading tweets calling for the return of the classic barbecue sauce.
Chick-fil-A said it plans to send customers who petitioned to bring back the original condiment bottles of the classic barbecue sauce to thank them for their vehement support.
But don’t take this to mean that Chick-fil-A will bring back other fan favourites that have been dumped. According to Chick-fil-A, bringing back menu items like the spicy-chicken biscuit could slow down service.
And while customers protested the loss of Chick-fil-A’s spicy-chicken biscuit and coleslaw, Chick-fil-A said that the menu items that replaced them — the Egg White Grill and the kale and broccolini side — are selling better. That’s something that can’t be said for the smokehouse barbecue sauce.
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