Chili’s blurred the line between fact and fiction this week when reps for the chain restaurant responded to a tweet from actress Jenna Fischer, who played Pam Beesly on the long-running American version of The Office. In one of the very best episodes of that show, the Dunder Mifflin staffers have their bogus annual awards ceremony, the Dundies, at a location of the casual bar and grill chain, and Pam has a bit too much to drink. A manager tells the camera: “We have a strict policy not to over-serve. Apparently this young woman was sneaking drinks off of other people’s tables. I Xeroxed her driver’s license and she is not welcome at this restaurant chain ever again.”
This week, more than 11 years after “The Dundies” aired on TV, Jenna Fischer made a reference to that episode on Twitter:
A day after Fischer shared this photo, Brinker, the company that owns and operates Chili’s, posted a message to its homepage revoking the ban on the Office character: “Effective immediately, Chili’s® Grill & Bar has removed the longstanding ban on a Scranton, Pennsylvania woman who allegedly caused a disturbance during a company awards party held at a Chili’s near the Pennsylvania town of Scranton.” Fischer was pleased by this news:
This playful exchange proves that not all social media stunts from big food companies have to be obnoxious — sometimes they can actually be delightful. Nice work, Brinker & Co.
• Chili's Just Lifted Pam Halpert's Lifetime Ban And Won The Internet [Food Beast]
• Jenna Fischer [Twitter]
• Chili’s Lifts Permanent Ban on Pam Beesly Halpert [Brinker]