We’ve heard of restaurants following some pretty cheeky practices, but this one might just take the cake.
Long Beach, California restaurant Sweet Dixie Kitchen has been left red-faced after a customer spotted workers allegedly sneaking boxes of Popeyes Chicken into the kitchen.
Suspiciously enough, it was just a little while after he and a friend had ordered chicken and waffles. Hmmm.
When their US $17 plate finally arrived, the customer, identified as Tyler H on Yelp, noticed the taste was a bit stale and ever-so-slightly familiar and he couldn’t resist asking the waiter if the restaurant had outsourced the chicken.
The waiter admitted that it came from none other than Popeyes, the famous fast food chain and direct competitor of KFC.
Afterwards, the manager compensated them for their meal.
Tyler went on Yelp to tell his story and give Sweet Dixie Kitchen a one-star rating, not knowing his review would ignite a fierce war between one-star rants and passionate five-star defences.
Sweet Dixie Kitchen, which offers a menu of sweet potato hash, gravy biscuits, frito pies and bread pudding, has not stopped outsourcing its chicken.
On the contrary, Kimberly Sanchez, the restaurant’s owner, quickly responded to the negative review to defend their decision and highlight that they cook “roughly 95% of the menu” themselves.
“We PROUDLY SERVE Popeyes’ spicy tenders — the best fried chicken anywhere and from New Orleans — which are delivered twice a day. We also in case you need to know buy our gumbo from a friend who sells it at a local farmer’s market,” Sanchez wrote.
Sanchez told Fox News that they started using Popeyes’ chicken two months ago since they don’t have fryer, which forces them to outsource their chicken one way or another.
“I tried Costco chicken, I tried Restaurant Depot chicken, and then I went to dinner at Popeyes and knew this was the chicken we had to use for the store. It’s the best chicken,” she said.
Sanchez claims she has always been upfront with the origin of the chicken for the two new dishes that use it, their “fried chicken and waffles” and their “fried chicken sandwich”.
“We wrote it on our board in the restaurant, ‘Imported from Louisiana this week, thank you Popeyes.’ It wasn’t a secret. We use the chicken as an ingredient in a menu item we made, we don’t use their sauces or anything else.”
But customers on Yelp are not as enthusiastic about the business practice.
“Serving another restaurant’s food and charging a premium!?” wrote one Yelp user.
Another negative Yelp review reads, “I just can’t wit [sic] them. I want to see the contract between this restaurant & Popeyes to know what percentage of $$ Popeyes is getting from this restaurant to be so proudly serving their chicken.”
Because of the flood of complaints, Sanchez was forced to double down on her decision to outsource in a long rant on Facebook.
The restaurant owner continued her defence on food blog Munchies, part of the Vice Media group.
“This certainly has gotten way way out of control,” Sanchez wrote.
“I not only bleed just like you all, but I have a staff.
“A woman who supports her kids. A guy trying to find an apartment. A college student paying her way through school. I love them as if they were my kids.
“If we can’t make it from scratch, I intend to find the next best thing if we include the ingredient on our menu. Hopefully my customers appreciate that.”
So what do you think? Should Sanchez be slammed or is this not a big deal?