It was not ‘Finger Lickin Good’ for KFC after the fried chicken outlet had to apologise for sending a mobile app alert telling German customers to “treat yourself” at the 84th anniversary of Kristallnacht.
The Kristallnacht or the ‘Night of Broken Glass’ refers to the pogroms against Jewish people in Germany and Austria carried out by Nazis in November 1938.
According to CNBC, the Yum Brands chain sent a notification on Wednesday that reportedly said: “It’s memorial day for Kristallnacht! Treat yourself with more tender cheese on your crispy chicken. Now at KFCheese!”
About an hour after the alert, KFC issued a follow-up on the app saying the first message was an “an error in our system”.
Apology and rebukes
“We are very sorry, we will check our internal processes immediately so that this does not happen again. Please excuse this error,” the fast food chain said, according to The Guardian.
Soon after, three different screenshots of KFC‘s notification were posted on Twitter, drawing strong rebukes on social media.
“Utterly speechless and repulsed,” tweeted Arsen Ostrovsky, head of International Legal Forum, a pro-Israel legal organisation.
“Absolutely hideous,” tweeted Daniel Sugarman, director of public affairs for the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
KFC said the notification contained “an obviously unplanned, insensitive and unacceptable message”.
“We use a semi-automated content creation process linked to calendars that include national observances. In this instance, our internal review process was not properly followed, resulting in a non-approved notification being shared,” the company said in a statement.
KFC said it has halted app communications and is reviewing its policies to avoid similar notifications in the future.
“We understand and respect the gravity and history of this day, and remain committed to equity, inclusion and belonging for all,” KFC said.
At least 91 Jews were murdered, about 7,500 Jewish businesses ransacked, and some 30,000 Jewish males arrested during the Kristallnacht assaults, which presaged the Holocaust in which about six million Jews were killed.