Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
One of capitalism’s little problems is that everything becomes about competition.
Which leads far too many people into such nastiness that they keep uttering war metaphors.
As if getting a little extra market share is like invading another country.
There are, though, other ways to behave.
In July, a Chick-fil-A in Mobile, Alabama made an announcement on its marquee.
“Try our new Smokehouse BBQ Sandwich! LTO,” it read. Beneath was the standard reminder that Chick-fil-A is “Closed Sundays.”
This, as AL.com reports, was particularly upsetting to the nearby Moe’s Original Bar B Que.
Fortunately, it has its own marquee. So its co-owner Ashleigh Valluzzo created this public response: “I thought we were friends. Open Sundays.”
Oddly, Chick-fil-A didn’t come over all sanctimonious.
Instead, after much pleading with the franchise operator, it offered: “Moe’s We Miss You! Let’s be Friends Again!”
Moe’s was having none of it. (I’ve posted most of the different signs below.)
“Chick-fil-A. I’m with Diamonds now…But it would be my pleasure,” it replied.
Should you have never been to a Chick-fil-A, “My Pleasure” is its signature phrase.
Should you have never ventured to Mobile for the pleasure of Diamonds, it is what would be politely called a gentleman’s club.
Chick-fil-A seemed hurt.
“Moe’s, so happy for you,” its reply began, through surely mock-miffed teeth. “As friends, can we ask a favor?”
Oh, no. What could this be? That Valluzzo go to church on Sunday? That she slip into the confessional and tell all about Moe’s relationship with Diamonds?
Not quite. Instead, this was the request: “Moe’s, any way we could get a look at that White BBQ Recipe?”
There’s nothing like asking for a trade secret over a public medium.
“Shyeah, we’ll send it over when pigs fly,” replied Moe’s.
Was that for the knockout?
Chick-fil-A may have staggered a little, but retorted: “Mmmm. Flying pork. Imitation is the best form of flattery?”
Both restaurants could have devolved into mudslinging of a very different kind. You know, the sort that brands sometimes toss at each other, accusing one another of having a lousy product or terrible service.
Yet here was something for the locals to enjoy. And, of course, for social media to devour.
Chick-fil-A’s Smokehouse BBQ Sandwich was just a special summer offer.
But by entering into an battle of wits, it created entertainment around its brand, just as Moe’s pithy sass made its own offering seem a little more, well, streetwise and soulful.
Even Diamond’s pitched in with its own sigh: “Let her go Moe.”
Yes, I’d give this one to Moe’s.
Listen, though, to the reaction of local resident Stephanie Berry Fisher on Facebook: “I just love this.. I have laughed so hard! I’ll be going to Moe’s tomorrow, Chick-fil-a Wednesday, not sure how I’ll let Diamonds know my appreciation.”