Buffalo taco truck forced to apologize for apologizing for serving ICE agents
A local taco truck has found itself stuck in the middle of an incendiary culture war that has resulted in an apology, an apology for the apology, and between ongoing social media criticism and a loss of business, no clear end in sight.
The ordeal began on October 23, when Lloyd Taco, a Buffalo-based company that owns four food trucks and two brick-and-mortar restaurants, tweeted that one of its food trucks would be parked outside the Department of Homeland Security in Batavia, also known as the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility, which is run by ICE — a fact that some Twitter users picked up on, leading to critical responses, with some pointing out the irony of offering tacos outside a federal agency that detains immigrants, some of them from Mexico.
The next day, Lloyd tweeted an apology and promised to donate all of the sales from October 23 to an organization supporting migrant rights. “There is no excuse for what happened and we have already begun to update our internal procedures to ensure future taco truck stops and events align with our company’s values,” the company wrote in a statement.
Then an even bigger backlash to the original backlash started: some people, including Republican office-holders and ICE itself, interpreted the apology as “a slap against police and law enforcement,” Buffalo News reports. At a news conference held on October 28, Lloyd co-founder Pete Cimino apologized for the initial apology, calling that decision “hastily made” and overly reactive to criticism.
“We make tacos, not war,” Cimino said at the news conference. “We serve all communities. We go to all neighborhoods. We are not political. Why would we be? How can any business choose sides in our politically divided country and ever succeed?”
According to Cimino, Lloyd has received more than 5,000 Facebook comments — 95 percent of them negative, and judging from a quick scan of comments left on recent posts, many of them in support of law enforcement — and three canceled truck visits, WIVB reports. The double-reverse apology doesn’t seem to have helped alleviate the situation; if anything, now it seems that people are angry that Lloyd is trying to remain politically neutral in a time when few can afford to take that stance.
And in other news…
- For the first time ever, an American-made cheese took home the top prize in the World Cheese Awards (France, meanwhile, didn’t even make the top five). [MSN]
- The Impossible Burger has proven a big hit at Burger King, driving the chain’s strongest growth since 2015. [Restaurant Dive]
- Denny’s has joined the plant-based wagon with a Beyond Burger. [Food Business News]
- For the first time since 2014, Starbucks isn’t doing a special Halloween drink. [The Takeout]
- Amazon Prime members will now get Amazon Fresh, the grocery delivery service, for free (with some caveats). [The Verge]
- A McDonald’s in Massachusetts had to apologize and remove a Halloween decoration that included someone hanging from a tree. [NY Post]
- Earlier this year, a Singapore restaurant was found using a claw machine game in which you catch your (still living) lobster dinner. [Straits Times]
- A case for not calling vegan meat and cheese “fake.” [Tenderly]
- Looks like yesterday’s Air Force One meal got into the Halloween spirit, with a mystery food item in the top-left corner, to boot:
The food on Air Force One today, via the press pool pic.twitter.com/HrGJ2vdWk2— Michelle Kosinski (@MichLKosinski) October 28, 2019
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