Pizza Hut faced some criticism and outright boycotting when one restaurant offered a free animal from a local pet store with the purchase of several pizzas.
According to News, Pizza Hut in Mount Waverley, in Melbourne, put a sign on display that read, “Buy any 10 large pizzas and get one free small animal from Pets Story.”
The sign had a picture of a hamster on it with the valid promotion dates printed across the bottom.
Some customers were outraged that Pizza Hut would dare to give away animals as if they were not valued creatures, and they took to Twitter and other social media websites to express their disbelief.
Oscar’s Law, a local animal rights organization, demanded the Pizza Hut restaurant take the promotional sign down. At first the store simply covered up the sign with white paper, and then the sign was eventually taken down.
The Pizza Hut restaurant agreed the meal deal was a “bad idea” but insisted that the sign was a typo. Apparently the franchise wanted to give away small animal kits, such as cages and small aquariums, instead of small animals. Daily Mail reported the sign was not double-checked for errors and put up in “haste.”
Pizza Hut Australia claims the franchise never had permission to run the giveaway and insisted that no animals were given away during the promotion, according to the Huffington Post. Pizza Hut released several statements apologizing for the incident and tried to reassure customers that Pizza Hut Australia does not condone the “inappropriateness” of giving away free animals with bulk pizza orders.
“On behalf of Pizza Hut Australia we once again [apologize] for this thoughtless promotion ever occurring and would like to reassure you all that this matter is being seriously dealt with.”
Customers were still very upset about the free animal meal deal and continued to berate Pizza Hut online through its Facebook page and Twitter. Some people vowed that they would never buy their pizza from Pizza Hut again because of the offending promotion. According to News, Facebook users accused Pizza Hut of deleting angry remarks and rebukes about the unauthorized promotion, and Pizza Hut responded to the accusations.
“Unfortunately as this was a very serious and delicate matter, we needed to make ourselves aware of all the facts before taking action. This included replying to all your concerns or allowing the allegations to remain visible on the page.”
Pizza Hut assured the public it would “take the time to reply to any questions or queries” that people had regarding the incident.
[Image via Facebook]