3 Fast Food Restaurants That Totally Failed Their Pride Month Celebrations

hands forming heart over pride flag
hands forming heart over pride flag - Leopatrizi/Getty Images

Happy Pride Month, everyone! June is the month when we all come together and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. It's inevitable that major fast food brands would want to get involved in the action (particularly if there's money to be made from it). In many cases, this results in an innocuous but largely inconsequential ad campaign. Sometimes it's actually productive, like in 2021 when Burger King donated a portion of its profits from sales of the Ch'King sandwich to the Human Rights Campaign. Sometimes, though ... well, sometimes it doesn't go well at all.

There's more than one example of a ham-handed attempt at Pride from a fast food chain. Even though its 2021 Ch'King campaign was a success, Burger King Austria goofed up hard the following year when it released a Pride-themed Whopper with two top or two bottom buns (customer's choice). Then there was the legendary 2015 Chipotle campaign involving the phrase "¿Homo estás?" Finally, there seemed to be an attempt to not celebrate Pride, rather to ignore it: the Starbucks alleged Pride ban in 2023, though never proven, didn't leave a great taste in peoples' mouths.

Read more: The Ultimate Ranking Of American Fast Food Restaurants

Burger King And Chipotle Tried, Albeit Badly

Chipotle storefront
Chipotle storefront - Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Burger King had released a "Proud Whopper" for Pride month in 2014 featuring a burger wrapped in rainbow packaging with no issue, and you can see what they were trying for in 2022 when Burger King Austria offered the Pride Whopper featured "two equal buns" which they said was to promote "equal love and equal rights." But a burger with two top or two bottom buns did not go over particularly well with the LGBTQ+ community, with many social media users responding with varying degrees of confusion. It's unclear what led the company to believe this was a good move rather than a baffling mistake -- one the company surely rued when it got publicly raked over the coals.

Chipotle's ill-fated 2015 Pride campaign was, if anything, even more bizarre. In late June of that year, the LGBTQ+ community was riding high after the Supreme Court's landmark "Obergefell v. Hodges" decision legalizing marriage equality. Chipotle decided to get in on the action, handing out coupons at Pride events with the text "¿Homo estás?" on them. The coupons then inquired "Which way do you sway?" underneath, with an arrow swinging between tacos and burritos. Not only does this phrase make no sense in Spanish, it's hard to say for whom it would make sense even as a pun.

Starbucks Got In Trouble For A Very Different Reason

starbucks cup with coffee beans
starbucks cup with coffee beans - Monticelllo/Getty Images

If Burger King and Chipotle were trying to be supportive yet failing, Starbucks was alleged to be doing something very different in 2023. During Pride month of that year, Starbucks Workers United, the organization working to unionize the chain, put out a statement accusing Starbucks of banning Pride decorations at its stores.

According to Starbucks Workers United, the company couldn't get its story straight as to why this was happening. Allegedly, at least one manager claimed Pride decorations were a safety risk considering the defacing of Pride displays at Target stores earlier that same year. Another manager allegedly said it was because the company wanted to maintain unified decorations across its stores. That same manager was also accused of pointing to the debacle wherein conservative operatives targeted Bud Light over its collab with trans activist Dylan Mulvaney. Starbucks denied there was any such ban in place, but the rumors persisted.

Fast food brands aren't the only ones who've made Pride mistakes, but it says something that companies just keep goofing up in all sorts of varied ways. Here's hoping this year, and the next, and the one after... go off without any advertising debacles.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.