Arby's launches 'support line,' microsite for vegetarians

The fast-food chain isn't trying to sway vegetarians from their lifestyles -- it swears.

ATLANTA: Arby's has penned an open letter to vegetarians, saying it supports their choice to try as they might to avoid its Brown Sugar Bacon creation.

The letter, published on Arby’s new vegetarian support microsite on Tuesday, warned non-meat-eaters about its latest menu option.

"It may be hard to resist…even for you," the letter states. "Hardcore vegetarians likely won’t budge, but for those of you who are on the fringe or new to the game, avoidance can’t be easy."

The chain also opened a support hotline, 1-855-MEAT-HLP, for vegetarians trying to stay on the path of a meat-free lifestyle.

The fast-food chain is working with Edelman on the initiative.

Callers to the hotline have two options: pressing 1 for a message of "support" – "Go make a salad" – or pressing 2 to confess that they’re giving into temptation and eating meat.

"Believe it or not, we do have a handful of vegetarians working at Arby’s and after hearing the details of the product and seeing the bacon, they admitted it was going to be tough to resist," said Luke DeRouen, director of brand communications and content at Arby’s. "With that in mind, we set out to develop fun, unique content that expresses our commitment to Meatcraft."

The microsite also includes an "advisory video" for Brown Sugar Bacon, which debuted at the end of last month.

Arby’s tongue-in-cheek letter embraces its love of meat, telling vegetarians that it wants to be "abundantly clear that this letter is not meant to sway or convert you."

"It can happen to anyone," the support website adds. "One day you’re a tofu-carrying vegetarian, and the next, Arby’s releases Brown Sugar Bacon, making you reconsider your herbivore lifestyle."

This story was updated on July 7 with comment from DeRouen.

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