Waffle House tweeted a “Juan” pun on Tuesday for Cinco de Mayo, then promptly deleted it after prodding from Twitter users who viewed the tweet as offensive.
Posted at 9:12 a.m., according to a screengrab captured by Adweek, the Waffle House tweet said “Oh bacon, you are the Juan for me #CincoDeMayo.” By 10:27 a.m., Waffle House had scrubbed the tweet and replaced it with “Oh bacon, you are the one for me! #CincoDeMayo.” By the afternoon, the second tweet had been deleted as well.
Adweek pounced on Waffle House, painting the tweet as potentially interpreted as racist.
“Brands just need to stop making Juan puns altogether,” the article says, later adding, “Yes, some people will say Juan jokes aren't racist. But you are going to piss off a whole bunch of people if you make one. So, why not just find a better way of being funny?”
Others were more charitable toward Waffle House’s Juan pun.
My first name's Juan @WaffleHouse. I'd say 90% of my friends in TX (where I went to college) say "One" when saying my name. I forgive you :)
— Esteban Contreras (@socialnerdia) May 5, 2015
— Latino Humor (@LatinoHumor) May 5, 2015
In the end, Waffle House settled for retweeting an image of a half-eaten waffle folded into a taco shape, filled with bacon and eggs and accompanied by the hashtag “#waffletaco.”
— Waffle House Rewards (@Waffle_Rewards) May 5, 2015
Waffle House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Cinco de Mayo has been known to trip up people hoping to capitalize on the theme of the day without giving much thought to how the message might be interpreted. Last year, MSNBC ran a segment on Cinco de Mayo featuring a reporter guzzling tequila straight from the bottle. The journalists apologized, and the head of MSNBC, Phil Griffin, later said he would work to boost diversity at the channel to avoid such incidents in the future.
Such goofs are so common that a hashtag -- #CincoDeFallo, which roughly translates to “fails on the fifth” -- has emerged on Twitter for users to document them.