On March 21, Frankie’s New York Buffalo Wings issued an apology statement on their social media pages in response to a concern from a diner at their Bonifacio Global City branch. The apology statement did not detail anything about the said concern, but the post with the original complaint has since gone viral. This is what went down:
Context: Leni-Kiko grand rally in Pasig
The tandem of vice president Leni Robredo and her running mate Kiko Pangilinan held a grand rally on Emerald Avenue in Pasig, breaking another record with their attendance count. With hundreds of thousands of people dispersing from the Ortigas Central Business District, traffic was heavy in all directions. And after standing for long hours during the rally, many wanted to take a break and have dinner before heading home. Some of them went to BGC and dined at Frankie’s, where they experienced an unpleasant incident.
A netizen posts a disappointing encounter
In a now-deleted Facebook post, a netizen shared a story about how he allegedly witnessed the staff of Frankie’s BGC Crossroads branch shouting “BBM” while walking by Leni supporters wearing pink.
Gusto lang naman kumain ng Kakampinks pic.twitter.com/60LybwoaMs
— anj LeniKiko2022 (@angelabeevs) March 21, 2022
“It’s sad also that the rest of the staff just laughed at the Leni supporters being offended. When the offended table asked to speak with the manager, acceptably enraged, the rest of the staff just kept laughing,” the post read. “When that table left, 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.”
Another netizen shared a screenshot of the post on Twitter, where it quickly went viral. Twitter user @duchessJeni also shared her own version of the alleged incident, saying that while the restaurant was filled with diners in pink, the staff kept on “whispering among themselves.”
— (@duchessJeni) March 21, 2022
Some express disappointment
After the original post went viral, many netizens expressed disappointment over the alleged conduct of the restaurant branch’s staff.
@frankieswings mga beh bka may gusto kayo gawin about this? this is really bad for your brand image just saying… plus service business kayo you should know better. would y’all want your customers to think that this is how your brand does its service to people?
— ️Migz ️ (@____MigzVAL32) March 21, 2022
Baka pwede icomplain sa Frankie’s mismo. Kasi that is being rude. If that is the kind of staff they have it reflects on their values as a company. I guess it’s not just the shouting but more of thr laughing and the not cleaning the tables just because they support the other side.
— Karen Julia Dela Cruz (@KJDC18) March 21, 2022
Others are worried about their food
Understandably, a lot of Leni Robredo supporters are now wary about eating in Frankie’s while openly campaigning for the candidate they support. One netizen even pointed out that this incident may not be restricted to just Frankie’s and that other restaurants may have differing political opinions and conduct themselves rudely toward some customers.
Sorry but they might not be outright bastos after this incident, pero baka duraan yung food. Trust issues era muna ‘ko sa Frankie’s. https://t.co/cVNwsBDMZv
— B (@sayheyB) March 21, 2022
Nakakatakot naman pla kumain na sa store nyo.. baka kung ano pa gawin ng staffs nyo sa mga orders lalo na kung vocal kakampink ka. Hindi lang daw isang employee yun, most of the staffs are laughing pa nga daw. Sana maayos nyo po ito..
— Joey #LeniKiko2022 (@joeymdl) March 21, 2022
After seeing this, mapapaisip ka tuloy kung safe ba umorder ng food na may suot kang anything that will show your political affiliation from any restaurants..
It goes beyond Frankie’s. For sure other restaurants have employees na LBM supporters. ☹️ https://t.co/6GazCIwFPV
— carla valenzuela (@calai85) March 21, 2022
Frankie’s posts a statement
Hi, everyone. Here is our official statement on the recent incident involving one of our team members: pic.twitter.com/tbJ0YVPPp2
— Frankie’s NY Wings (@frankieswings) March 21, 2022
After catching wind of the now-viral post, Frankie’s quickly took action and reached out to all parties involved, including the netizen who posted and the branch staff members. They issued a statement on their social media accounts, saying they “will treat this matter objectively, and that the proper due process will be accorded to the team member involved.”
They went on to emphasize that the personal views of their employees do not reflect those of the management or the company as a whole. “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.”
“We know that we are, and should be better than this. We humbly and sincerely apologize for this incident,” the statement read.
Frankie’s private message
They have families to provide for too! Let this be a lesson of what respect really should be instead.
Kasama sila sa pinaglalaban natin whether they like it or not. I like our hashtag na #RadikalMagmahal mahirap magmahal but we just have to
— Ajie LENI FOR PRESIDENT (@AjieIchibann) March 21, 2022
In addition to the public statement, Ajie Jugueta, the netizen who posted about the incident, shared the private messages he received from the president and branch manager of Frankie’s regarding the incident. They promised to keep him updated on new developments on the incident. Jugueta also urged fellow netizens not to ask the staff members to get fired.
After the post went viral, many netizens called to boycott the restaurant in retaliation for the incident. But boycotting is not the answer. A boycott would affect not just the branch in question, but also the livelihoods of many fellow Filipinos. And even if restaurant staff members have differing political opinions from the customers they serve, they do not deserve to have their source of livelihood taken away from them, especially as most of them rely heavily on their job to support themselves and their families.
Get them fired? Also not the answer
Other netizens went further than boycotting and called for the involved staff members to get fired. But that’s not the answer. Such immediate action without hearing all sides of the incident would only result in a further divide between those with different political opinions. Instead of boycotting or getting them fired, a proper course of action must be done (and it seems Frankie’s management has that covered already). Instead of “canceling” people who have different political opinions, it’s better to engage in proper discourse and let this be a lesson about respect and courtesy.
As some supporters of VP Robredo have pointed out, radikal ang magmahal.
What are your thoughts on this incident? Tell us below.