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No One Really Knows Why We’re Boycotting Olive Garden

Plus, Antonio Brown is being sued by his ex-chef, and more news to start your day

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The exterior of a faux-stone building with an Olive Garden sign

#BoycottOliveGarden is really taking off...for some reason

There are plenty of reasons to boycott all fast food and fast-casual chains, from their reliance on unsustainable farming practices to their lobbying to keep minimum wage down. But for some reason, over the weekend the specific call to #BoycottOliveGarden took off. Because Twitter is a confusing hellscape focused on user engagement and not actually providing anyone with useful information, it’s hard to figure out where exactly the call started, but at some point in the past week people began tweeting that Olive Garden is a major contributor to Trump’s reelection. Which, according to Olive Garden’s exasperated social media manager, is not true.

A screenshot of Olive Garden’s twitter feed, in which they respond that they do not donate to political candidates

Some tweeted that it isn’t Olive Garden per se, but rather their owners, Darden Restaurants (which also owns Longhorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille) that are the Trump supporters. But according to Open Secrets, the company itself has not donated to any political candidates, and the donations of individual employees are pretty mixed. In 2018 they gave $15,000 to Rick Scott and $60,000 to GOPAC, but in 2016 they donated a lot to Hillary Clinton and DNC Services Corp. In fact, In-N-Out might be the only chain whose top exec donated to Trump’s 2016 campaign. Whether this means you can house breadsticks in peace is a deeply personal decision.

And in other news...

  • Starbucks is introducing a Pumpkin Spice cold brew, its first new pumpkin coffee beverage in 16 years. Maybe it’s because climate change has made October as hot as July, so no one actually wants a latte. [CNN]
  • Diners are trying to appeal to the Instagram crowd. [NYTimes]
  • Door Dash apparently hasn’t fixed their bad tipping policy yet, but they say they’re working on it. [Grub Street]
  • Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown is being sued by his ex-chef, who alleges Brown didn’t pay him over $38,000. The chef, Stefano Tedeschi, thinks it’s because Brown saw a salmon head in the freezer that Tedeschi was saving to use in a soup, and took it as some kind of threat. [Vice]
  • Disney’s Lady and The Tramp remake has a new trailer, in which you can FINALLY watch real dogs eat spaghetti and make out. [Disney]
  • A look at all the fancy food coming to the U.S. Open. [NY Post]
  • Millennials are killing again! Now it’s canned tuna, American cheese, mass-produced beer, and cereal. [USA Today]
  • Soybeans, coffee, and oil are the latest foods to be hit by Chinese tariffs on U.S. goods. [CNN]
  • In Japan, you can get soba at Starbucks. [Sora News 24]
  • Did you know Trump was once on a Denny’s menu? [Twitter]

Update: August 25, 2019, 11:54 a.m: The person who initially tweeted about the Olive Garden boycott has deleted their tweet.


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