Burger King is hoping to set its new chicken sandwich apart from those of a well-established competitor with a timely initiative.
The Florida-based restaurant chain last week unveiled the Ch’King, featuring a breaded chicken fillet on a potato bun and served with pickles and a signature sauce. The sandwich is available in both standard and deluxe sizes, and patrons can also opt for a version with a “spicy glaze.”
The launch of the menu items coincided with the start of LGBTQ Pride Month, a point not lost on Burger King officials. The chain announced plans to donate 40 cents for every Ch’King sandwich sold through June 30 to the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ advocacy group in the United States.
The company stressed that the donations would be made “even on Sundays,” a less-than-subtle jab at Chick-fil-A, which is closed every Sunday.
Chick-fil-A, which is based in Georgia, has repeatedly faced backlash for supporting anti-LGBTQ causes for years. In 2012, CEO Dan Cathy stoked outrage when he expressed support for “the biblical definition of the family unit” in an interview. Past recipients of the chain’s contributions include the Family Research Council, an anti-abortion group, and the now-defunct Exodus International.
Since then, Chick-fil-A has taken steps to recover its image by pledging not to “have a political or social agenda” and by distancing itself from Cathy’s remarks. However, tax documents obtained by ThinkProgress in 2019 showed that the company had donated $1.8 million to organizations known to discriminate against LGBTQ people as recently as 2017.
Chick-fil-A did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
News of the Ch’King campaign, however, comes as corporations worldwide are facing criticism for “rainbow washing,” or using Pride Month as a marketing tactic without making any tangible efforts to support queer people.
A Burger King spokesperson told USA Today that the company was simply hoping to uplift “a community we love dearly and have proudly supported over the years.” The statement did not mention Chick-fil-A by name.
“We couldn’t miss an opportunity to take action and help shine a light on the important conversation happening,” the representative added.
Your move, Wendy’s.