Burger King's 'Women Belong in the Kitchen' Tweet Draws Backlash

Burger King United Kingdom started International Women's Day 2021 on a sour note Monday a Twitter post resulted in the brand getting grilled by users.

The company tweeted at about 4 a.m. ET that "Women belong in the kitchen," the beginning of a longer thread about their impending culinary scholarship program for women. The reaction to the promotional thread was less than savory.

Women belong in the kitchen.

— Burger King (@BurgerKingUK) March 8, 2021

Users were quick to say the tweet was in poor taste, and KFC Gaming, an offshoot of the KFC Fast Food Chain for a gaming console that warms fried chicken, called on the company to delete the tweet amid the outrage.

But Burger King UK doubled down on its scholarship campaign, saying that the post was doing exactly what it hoped it would accomplish.

"Why would we delete a tweet that's drawing attention to a huge lack of female representation in our industry, we thought you'd be on board with this as well? We've launched a scholarship to help give more of our female employees the chance to pursue a culinary career," it tweeted.

Why would we delete a tweet that’s drawing attention to a huge lack of female representation in our industry, we thought you’d be on board with this as well? We've launched a scholarship to help give more of our female employees the chance to pursue a culinary career.

— Burger King (@BurgerKingUK) March 8, 2021

The initial tweet is the start of a larger thread explaining that women make up only 20 percent of professional chefs. The scholarship program the company says it is launching seeks to balance the gender ratio in working kitchens.

"Our 'thought process' is that women are shockingly underrepresented in our industry, and we thought it was time we did something about it. We've created a scholarship to give more of our female employees the chance to pursue a culinary career."

Our "thought process" is that women are shockingly underrepresented in our industry, and we thought it was time we did something about it. We've created a scholarship to give more of our female employees the chance to pursue a culinary career.

— Burger King (@BurgerKingUK) March 8, 2021

A representative for the brand told Complex that Burger King UK is teaming with culinary schools to help their female team members achieve their culinary goals. The rep added that the program is "underlined by our commitment to BRC's D&I charter, and its six pledges to eliminate unlawful discrimination and encourage equal opportunities for all our colleagues."

Still, users weren't impressed and continued to fry the brand for what they saw as a crass ploy for attention that backfired.

UK Burger King trying to take some of the load for the royal family. https://t.co/mSFGM9LWyG

— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) March 8, 2021

Burger King UK really just did the most click bait tweet. This is the most publicity Burger King has had in a while #internationalwomensday pic.twitter.com/O16y4KrjJA

— Cameron 'Chip' Elder (@MrElderXI) March 8, 2021

This marketing person took the “no such thing as bad publicity” to the nth degree to get their point across. https://t.co/CfC4Az3mm9

— Asfour (@justasfourme) March 8, 2021

Burger King is owned by Restaurant Brands International, which also owns Popeyes and Tim Hortons. Of the 12 people listed on its board of directors, at rbi.com, one is a woman.

Burger King
An exterior view of a Burger King restaurant on April 1, 2019 in Richmond Heights, Missouri. Michael Thomas/Getty Images