Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) chain KFC on Monday apologized following outrage on social media over a post from its Pakistan-based franchise supporting separatists in Kashmir.
Another QSR chain Pizza Hut also issued a statement saying “it does not condone, support or agree with the contents of a post circulating in social media” after facing backlash over an Instagram post on Kashmir by its official handle in Pakistan.
Both KFC and Pizza Hut are subsidiaries of US-based Yum! Brands that also owns the popular QSR brand Taco Bell.
“We deeply apologize for a post that was published on some KFC social media channels outside the country. We honor and respect India, and remain steadfast in our commitment to serving all Indians with pride,” according to a message on KFC India’s official account on Twitter.
Pizza Hut, in its statement, said “it does not condone, support or agree with the contents of a post circulating in social media. We remain steadfast in our commitment to serving all our brothers and sisters with pride.” Earlier, in a social media post, a verified account of KFC had supported the separatists in Kashmir and posted “Kashmir belongs to Kashmiris.” Similarly, an Instagram post from the verified account of ‘Pizzahutpak’ had said, “We stand with you. Kashmir Solidarity Day.” Both the social media posts have been deleted after #BoycottKFC and #BoycottPizzaHut started trending on Twitter.
The incident follows a similar backlash that Hyundai Motors faced on Sunday on social media after a dealer in Pakistan posted a message supporting separatists in Kashmir.
A Twitter account of a Hyundai dealer in Pakistan with the handle @hyundaiPakistanOfficial had posted a message supporting Kashmir Solidarity day, supporting what it called a “struggle for freedom”.
Following the post, #BoycottHyundai trended on Twitter in India with many users asking people to stop buying the company’s products in the country.
On Sunday, Hyundai Motors India put out a message on social media reiterating its commitment to the Indian market.
KFC had officially entered the Indian market in June 1995 by opening a restaurant in Bangalore.
Now, it operates over 450 stores in India through its franchise partners, which includes RJ Corp-owned Devyani International and Sapphire Foods.
Pizza Hut had forayed into India in June 1996. It operates around 500 stores through its franchise partners.