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The British sense of humor doesn’t always travel well, especially on social media. Restaurant Brands International (NYSE: QSR) learned that Monday when a Burger King UK tweet on International Women’s Day backfired badly on Twitter (NYSE: TWTR).
What Happened: Burger King UK tweeted a message Monday that seemed a half-century behind the times: “women belong in the kitchen.” Yet it was actually the beginning of a three-part thread with a pro-woman theme.
The second tweet in the thread stated: “If they want to, of course. Yet only 20% of chefs are women. We're on a mission to change the gender ratio in the restaurant industry by empowering female employees with the opportunity to pursue a culinary career.”
The third part of the thread sealed the message on an inspiring note: “We are proud to be launching a new scholarship programme which will help female Burger King employees pursue their culinary dreams!”
What Went Wrong: Unfortunately for Burger King UK, too many Twitter readers were jolted by what they perceived to be a misogynist initial tweet and didn’t bother to investigate further. Burger King UK was grilled in many tweets that took the chain to task, ranging from YouTube funnyman Juan Gonzalez asking “Do you guys hate your brand?” to actress Chelsea Peretti proclaiming “Burger King belongs in a trashcan” to gamer Hugo “Hugs86” Gonzalez asking “Jesus who thought this was a good idea?”
However, not everyone took offense – the initial tweet has received over 600,000 likes since it went up at 9:00 a.m. GMT.
QSR Price Action: Restaurant Brands shares ended Monday's session 4.12% higher at $65.
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