How often do you say you're addicted to something? You're addicted to your phone, you're addicted to TV, you're addicted to ice cream, we throw the word addicted around like it's something pretty normal.
Of course, we all realize the severity of drug and alcohol addiction, and we aren't using the word as a way to be rude or disrespectful. But for a restaurant based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, they've decided to change the name of a popular food item on their menu, all because it's not inclusive.
Hopcat announced that after 11 years, they would be changing the name of their "Crack Fries" dish because it doesn't take into account those people who are struggling with drug addiction.
Today we are announcing plans to change the name of our Crack Fries. Rest assured, the recipe and ingredients are not changing, only the name.
Our vision for creating an inclusive company that supports our communities, shows love for our team and best serves our guests is not compatible with the continued use of the Crack Fries name.
We chose the name more than 11 years ago as a reference to the addictive quality of the fries and their cracked pepper seasoning, without consideration for those the drug negatively affected. We were wrong.
The crack epidemic and the lasting impact on those it affects is not funny and never was.
As we grow as a company we have come to realize that to make light of this drug and of addiction contradicts our values of inclusion and community. We want to thank our guests, employees and community members who have helped us come to this realization and apologize for the pain the name brought to others.
Transitioning to a new name will not happen overnight. A companywide menu reprint in mid-January will reflect the change. We will also need time to update all other materials, including online menus, training documents and promotions.
We are grateful for the support we’ve received over the years and your love of our fries. While we know it will take time to get used to this change, we are confident in our decision. It is not only the right thing to do, it reflects who we are.
The name change sparked a huge debate as to whether or not this was taking political correctness too far.
"Drug addiction may not funny, but watching companies falling all over themselves to be politically correct is freakin hilarious," one person wrote.
"This is exactly what’s wrong with people these days," Justin Brosseau wrote. "Grow up, and stop looking for things to be offended by."
"This society won't be happy until we all think, dress ,and eat the same," Lakeesha Lewis echoed. "In addition, I had em and there really just basic loaded fries."
"It's so sad that anything even remotely funny, creative, or even a little tongue-in-cheek is examined so closely with a microscope these days," someone else said. "God forbid we offend the crack heads."
But HopCat has now intention of changing their minds.
“We’ve heard from a lot of people thanking us, and that’s gratifying. And we’ve heard from a lot of people who are not happy, and they’re entitled to that opinion as well,” Chris Knape, a HopCat spokesperson said. “In some ways, it’s flattering that people care that much about the name of a french fry.”
Regardless of why they did it, it's pretty hard to ignore the clear free publicity the restaurant is gaining from this. As a small chain looking to expand into other states, HopCat is now being talked about on national news, and you can bet that people will be headed to their restaurant to try some "Crack Fries" while they still can.