Wendy's is bringing back its spicy chicken nuggets, thanks to Chance the Rapper and 2 million likes.
On Saturday, the rapper tweeted: "Positive Affirmations for today: I WILL have a good day, I Will succeed today, Wendy's WILL bring back spicy nuggets at some point please please Lord let it be today."
Wendy's social media team, known for its sharp Twitter game and irreverent humor, seized on the opportunity. The restaurant said it would bring back the spicy chicken nuggets -- if Tweeters liked the company's tweet 2 million times.
"Y'all keep asking, so here's your chance," it read. "The people in charge say if you guys can get our tweet (this one right here) to 2 Million likes, they will bring SPICY CHICKEN NUGGETS BACK. Let's freakin' do this!"
Twitter responded with a collective "Challenge. Accepted." And two days later ...
"THIS IS NOT A DRILL! Spicy Chicken Nuggets are coming back! Y'all are crazy!," the chain tweeted Monday morning. "That took like a day and a half! WHAT?! We don't know when yet, gotta figure it out, but soon, and ok, LOSING IT RIGHT NOW THIS IS AMAZING!!"
Quick-serve restaurants like Wendy's are hyper-competitive, because they are competing for the same audience. Customers are not typically loyal to any particular brand, so fast-food companies resort to outlandish marketing tactics and even more outrageous food creations to draw in customers.
For example, Burger King last week rolled out a new Whopper meal box, called "Real Meals," labeled with different moods and colors. The packaging comes in five moods: the Pissed in red, Blue for sad, Salty in teal, YAAAS in purple and DGAF (that's "don't give a f---" in internet speak) in black. In 2017, Wendy's famously challenged a teen to get 18 million retweets to score free nuggets for a year (he got the nuggets and set a record for the most retweeted tweet). And Domino's is chasing new clients by rewarding them for eating pizza -- even if they buy it from a competitor.
Fast-food restaurants are also redoing their menus to capture market share from their competitors. For example, Dunkin' added two new breakfast bowls and Burger King is testing out a coffee pass for $5 per month. Panera also recently overhauled its breakfast offerings with better coffee and new sandwiches. Donuts Sticks and bacon were a sweet and savory success for McDonald's last quarter.
Wendy's spicy chicken nuggets fall into the McDonald's McRib and Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte category of promotions: Limited-time offers of foods with a niche following. The fleeting promotion gets people to flock to restaurants to ensure they get a taste.
But sometimes those kinds of promotions backfire. Most notably in 2017, McDonald's offered its long-discontinued Szechuan sauce for a single day in October. Supplies ran out quickly, angering rabid fans who descended on McDonald's restaurants. The company apologized.