Papa Johns Isn't Even Trying Anymore — Are Those Wings Even Wings?

"I think I've just been gaslit by Papa Johns. These are the wings I ordered. These are the wings I got." Customers are getting fed up.

Brandon Charles - Author

Mar. 1 2024, Published 11:26 a.m. ET

A customer complaining about advertised versus actual wings from Papa Johns.
Source: TikTok/@WowThatsRandomOfficial

Does anyone expect delivery food or fast food to look like the advertisements? Anyone who has ever ordered Chipotle or Starbucks online might know what we’re talking about.

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But when is something so off it demands a correction? What if the delivery isn’t close to the advertised photo? How do we determine what the food is? Many customers have been frustrated with Papa Johns. Is the company even trying anymore?

Is Papa Johns even trying anymore? Their wings suggest a hard no.

Papa John’s is currently offering wings. They look like wings. At least the ads for the wings look like wings, the kind you’d find at any pizza delivery chain. @WowThatsRandomOfficial took to TikTok to let the world know that not all wings are what they appear to be.

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A Papa Johns order sitting on concrete
Source: Getty Images

At Papa Johns, the advertised wings and the actual product don't match up.

In the extremely direct 16-second clip, we’re shown the advertised wings, the delivered wings, and the response from Papa John’s when @WowThatsRandomOfficial reached out to let them know something is off.

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“Both pictures are the same,” responded Papa John’s. In all likelihood, the response probably came from an AI bot because pictures aren't the same! The gaslighting is worse than the actual food! While the food doesn’t exactly look like the advertised food, it rarely ever looks like that advertised food. This is far from the advertised food.

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Commentor @nayners00 may be onto something and explained “They gave you hush puppies with BBQ drizzle.” It does look like that! It does not look like wings. Could they be battered and deep-fried wings that are trying to be hush puppies? Could that be a thing?

A commenter saying that Papa Johns wings look like hush puppies with BBQ drizzle.
Source: TikTok/@WowThatsRandomOfficial
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Papa Johns acknowledged the mistake and promised to make it right.

“Oh no! We apologize for the mixup. We will make sure you get some new wings!” Papa Johns commented in the post. New wings are a good idea. The incorrect wings may lead to more than social media outrage. One commenter suggested that he would have driven his car through the building, which would cost way more than a new order of wings.

Papa Johns apologizes for their wings.
Source: TikTok/@WowThatsRandomOfficial
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Papa John’s also made this right with a non-wing offering. In an update, @WowThatsRandom writes, “They sent an apology (from a person and not a bot!) and a $50 gift card! I thought that was super nice. I will post when I get my next set of wings how they turned out.”

Was this intentional? Was TikTok tricked into believing these non-wings were wings but an advertisement for Papa Johns all along? Probably not. There are over 6,000 comments on the video and quite a few of them just want to sue Papa Johns for false advertising.

Is TikTok the best way for customers to deal with bad orders?

Based on how quickly Papa Johns responded and how viral the video went, maybe the best use of TikTok is complaining to chains about their mistakes. Customers seem to get results and even if they don't, viewers can at least chuckle about the absurdity when large food chains pretend that customers don't know what wings are.

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