Hamburger Mary’s may be known for serving gourmet half-pound burgers with a “side of Sass.” Well now Mary’s is adding her voice to the increasing number of campaigns to counter Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy’s controversial public stance against marriage equality… by offering a southern-style chicken sandwich while advocating diversity.
Hamburger Mary’s “hate-free” southern-style chicken sandwich starts with a fresh chicken breast, marinated and battered with Mary’s secret recipe flour and spice mixture. It’s then deep-fried and served with herb mayo and dill pickles on a bakery fresh bun (from Chicago’s Highland Bakery).
The promotion was the brain child of Tampa Mary’s franchise co-owner Brian DeChane, although many of the other Mary’s owners had been thinking of doing something to make a statement.
Twin brothers Ashley & Brandon Wright are the owners of the Chicago and Milwaukee Hamburger Mary’s franchises, as well as part-owners of the brand nationally. Originally from Atlanta, the Wright brothers have enjoyed plenty of Chick-fil-A sandwiches over the years. “I’ve always thought they had a great sandwich,” says Brandon.
But the current controversy has prompted the brothers, and many of their friends, to seek alternatives. Ashley and Brandon are both gay, and Hamburger Mary’s is the only national franchise system that caters to the gay & lesbian community. “We wanted to create our own southern-style chicken sandwich, made from free-range and ‘hate-free’ chickens,” says Ashley. “We’ve developed a recipe that is pretty darn good, and this is the perfect opportunity to launch it.”
A portion of the sale of the chicken sandwich will be donated to equality causes nationwide.
Mary’s is hoping that the August “burger”-of-the-month will bring a positive spin to the controversy over Dan Cathy’s comments, and let people know that a “equality” chicken sandwich option is out there.