Panera Bread has officially won the PR damage control game. The restaurant chain was met with a slew of angry tweets this fall after they removed the Bistro French onion soup from their menu to make room for other items. Little did they know that the soup, which has been on the menu for over 20 years, was a major fan-favorite.
AdAge reports that, in response to the rage-filled masses, Panera came up with a brilliant plan to announce the soup's return. They created a script loosely-based on the beloved NBC sitcom, The Office, and hired Phyllis Smith, who played Phyllis Vance on the series, to be a fictional “Social Media Coordinator.”
In the video above, Phyllis hilariously reads mean tweets about the extracted French onion soup with shock and horror from her cubicle at the Panera headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. Some of the posts include, “@PaneraBread Bring back French Onion Soup, you cowards,” as well as, “I just want some f**king French Onion Soup. @PaneraBread, f**k you.”
The ad ends with the Social Media Manager, Boo Detch, stating, “Needless to say, everyone is really happy French onion Soup is officially back. Please stop messaging us,” with a stern look directly into the camera.
In the concluding “outtakes,” Phyllis shows the perks of her job, which include wearing bread-shaped slippers she calls “loafers,” anytime she wants.
Hopefully the comical nod at everyone’s favorite mockumentary series helps ease the frustration over the few months spent without French onion Soup.