The user, @goatbreakers, found a restaurant called It’s Just Wings while browsing options on DoorDash. Although the eatery appears to be a regular neighborhood wing spot, apparently it’s an attempt by the company that owns Chili’s to combat a lull in business during the pandemic.
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“If you found this random restaurant on DoorDash, did you know that it’s actually just a Chili’s?!” @goatbreakers reveals in the video, which has since been viewed over 287,000 times. “So what, are we getting like, three-day-old wings or something?”
Well, it seems that TikTokers did not know the truth about It’s Just Wings — and they weren’t particularly happy to learn it.
“Almost all of the restaurants in our area are doing this,” one user wrote. “People think they’re supporting ‘small local business’ and it’s big chains.. we were so sad.”
“Boston Market got me like that the other day. I ordered from a place that was called Roster Express… it was just Boston Market,” another said.
“WHAT I ORDER FROM THIS PLACE SO MUCH I HAD NO IDEA,” said a flustered user, to which the original poster replied, “It’s all a lie.”
Still, comments from those who said they’ve actually tried the wings seem to be mixed. “All I’m saying is don’t get the garlic parmesan,” one user said. “The apple ones are heat tho.”
“Dude they are so good,” another wrote. “They were the second best wings I’ve ever had.”
Brinker International, the parent company of Chili’s and the casual Italian chain Maggiano’s, announced the launch of It’s Just Wings in June 2020.
According to Restaurant Business Online, the virtual restaurant concept was created in order to mirror the success of brands like Wingstop, which saw a 33 percent increase in sales during the month of April, while other chain restaurants struggled amid the pandemic.
As the outlet reports: “Virtual restaurants got their start when services such as DoorDash approached operators about adding a particular product or menu line that consumers wanted, as indicated by search levels, but couldn’t readily find in their areas. Places in those markets were encouraged to invent a name and pose as a full-fledged restaurant that was offering the sought-after product, instead of letting consumers know they were ordering from brands that were not readily associated with that selection.”
And Brinker International isn’t the only big brand to cash in using similar tactics.
In April, a Philadelphia woman went viral after sharing her outrage upon learning the food she recently ordered from a “local restaurant” — in an attempt to support local businesses during the global health crisis — was actually from Chuck E. Cheese.
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