California-based restaurant Salt & Fries—which specializes in French fries—is transitioning to a vegan menu after two employees tainted a vegan couple’s order of French fries with a piece of chicken. Customers Amber Davis and her boyfriend visited the establishment on January 10 and informed the staff that both of them were vegan before placing an order for French fries. “I saw them in the back talking [and] facing away from me, and I thought I saw them pass something to each other,” Davis wrote in a review of Salt & Fries. “I disregarded it because I thought I was being paranoid. We got halfway through our fries when we found one single piece of chicken sitting in the cup. Clearly, this was done on purpose.” Salt & Fries founder Matt Kim took immediate action by investigating the incident which led him to discharge the employees in question, who claimed the transgression was an accident. Additionally, Kim launched new company policies to mitigate cross-contamination and added vegan nuggets to the menu—which he stated will replace all chicken once the eatery’s current order is depleted. Kim also plans to remove mozzarella sticks from the menu and add new options such as vegan hot dogs in the future. “I sincerely apologize to the customer who experienced this unpardonable issue, and also I apologize to the vegan community regarding this issue,” Kim said. “As a non-vegan, I thought about the definition of ‘vegan’ and researched [it] after I saw the reaction of the vegan community on the customer’s shared post.” Salt & Fries is not completely vegan—as the optional seasoning offered on French fries contains dairy, as do some of the dipping sauces—but Kim is using this incident as an opportunity to explore new menu options. “Furthermore, with this as momentum, I believe that, with the strong determination of my employees and I, Salt & Fries can become a food destination for all customers, including vegan and vegetarians,” Kim said.
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