After Twitter user @edgette22 discovered that KFC’s Twitter account follows no one but all five Spice Girls and six men named "Herb"—a nod to the fast-food chain’s secret recipe blend of 11 herbs and spices—he tweeted a not-so-subtle plea for free food from the brand.
@edgette22 tweeted on Friday morning that he feels like Carter Wilkerson of Wendy’s #NuggsForCarter fame, "just without the free nuggets."
KFC was too slow to answer the call. Not even Wendy’s was fast enough. Enter another rival: Chili’s Grill & Bar jumped into the conversation.
Hey, we're a brand and we'll give you some free food if you want.— Chili's Grill & Bar (@Chilis) October 20, 2017
It's nowhere near what @kfc is going to give you, but consider it "food gap insurance" until you land that deal. DM us your email address.— Chili's Grill & Bar (@Chilis) October 20, 2017
@edgette22’s KFC discovery tweet has been retweeted 216,000 times and earned 467,000 likes. Media outlets such as Mashable and USA Today have picked up the story.
While KFC did not respond to @edgette22 on Twitter, the chain provided an emailed statement to PRWeek.
"Our vault was getting cleaned, so I thought the best place to keep the secret recipe was on Twitter," said Bentley McBentleson, U.S. digital marketing manager at KFC. "‘No one’s going to look at who we’re following,’ I thought. Boy was I wrong. I’ve made a huge mistake."
KFC made the Twitter Easter egg live on September 18, so no one noticed the unique list of followers for more than a month, a representative from KFC PR AOR Edelman said via email.
Meanwhile, a suddenly prominent Twitter user is still waiting for his reward. @edgette22 tweeted again at midday on Friday asking KFC what took it so long to respond.