Uncaged At Burger King

25 04 2012

In this era of social media and instantaneous dissemination of information (good or bad), companies are starting to awaken to the possibility that they might be the next ones to be affected by PR gone viral. Starbucks felt the pinch when it was revealed they were using crushed beetles as food coloring. Lowe’s and Susan G Komen endured the wrath of a social graph set ablaze in controversy. McDonald’s flopped miserably when it tried to create its own hashtag.

And these are just examples from the last four months.

So when I read this morning that Burger King is going to start using only cage-free eggs and pork in its restaurants, I raised my arm to give them a high five. This is the kind of thing that can be leveraged for so much good, and allows BK to stay ahead of the bad, whatever and whenever that may be. If you don’t believe me, take a look at this story about caged hens. Yeah, you wouldn’t want this kind of stuff being pinned to your business, would you?

It is not much different from fast-casual rival Chipotle’s commitment to Food With Integrity (locally-grown when possible, ethically-raised animals, and fairness to farmers). You can almost taste the difference.

OK, I might be exaggerating, and I do happen to love me some Chipotle whenever I get out of A-Town. It’s just that Food With Integrity screams goodness. I am sure that BK is hoping grab a handful of that benefit as they figure out how to accept their new ranking as third in the fast-food biz.

And it is a good call. By implication, McDonald’s and Wendy’s must not be too concerned about this, or else they would have beaten BK to the punch. BK is hoping that when you stop in, you remember that at least their eggs and pork offerings were raised ethically; similarly, if you happen to dine with the other guys, you will recall with each and every bite that those poor animals no doubt suffered. Confined, in the case of hens, to 67 square inches of living space.

Holy cow, this is beginning to sound like a PETA rant.

But you see where I am going, right? BK need not invoke the name of the most militant animal rights organization on the planet. All they have to do is show how BK is concerned, and those other bad boys just don’t care.

Taco Bell may think outside the bun, but props to BK for thinking outside the cage. The animals will surely thank you.

Dr “Throw Away The Key” Gerlich



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