How would you feel if you ordered a classic Chicken and Waffles at a local business that claims to support other local businesses, and found out that chicken you just ate was from a fast-food restaurant, a Popeyes to be exact?
Tyler H. of Los Angeles was the first to call out local eatery Sweet Dixie Kitchen in Long Beach, California; his Yelp review revealed more than what we expected.
In his review, Tyler said that after watching the restaurant employees bring in two large boxes of Popeyes to the kitchen, he ordered the Chicken and Waffles to confirm whether they were serving Popeyes. Tyler asked the waiter how they cooked their fried chicken, and the waiter admitted it was in fact Popeyes.
Sweet Dixie owner Kimberly Sanchez' reply was unusual, edging on boastful: "Hi Tyler - We PROUDLY SERVE Popeyes spicy tenders - the best-fried chicken anywhere and from New Orleans - which are delivered twice a day." The restaurant's credo, "Be happy, stay local and always eat well," contradicts the presence of Popeyes altogether (no offense to Popeyes).
For a local restaurant that claims to collaborate with other mom and pop businesses, this is dishonest. Sweet Dixie Kitchen's chicken sells for $12.50. And as Foodbeast pointed out, the sliders appear to be Popeyes chicken tenders inside a biscuit.
Sanchez also explained that Popeyes is an exception, along with other outsourced food items. "We don't mill our own flour as we don't own a mill or wheat farm and our coconut cake is made by our pre cook who makes cakes for private clients. Just FYI," she replied. Sanchez snarkily added, "so whatever to you and your little review like it was some great exposure - and whatever to you dude."
Yelp reviewers are claiming the restaurant is essentially serving another restaurant's food for a premium, while others are concerned about the legal and health issues with reselling Popeyes chicken.
A week after Tyler's review, Joshua F. took to Yelp to pick up where Tyler's review left off, pointing out that "at least the restaurant is now being honest about where their fried chicken comes from." But made note that Popeyes would "not be very pleased to know someone is reselling their chicken at 300% markup."
Many restaurants will outsource their goods from food distributors, but for a restaurant that claims it is an advocate for local businesses, this will not bode well for their reputation.