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Burger King Makes Either a Whopper of a Mistake, or Marketing Magic

A mysterious and perplexing email has people scratching their heads, though it now has an apparent explanation.

Fast-food restaurants are known for stirring the pot and trying to interact humorously with their customers on social media. 

They want to capture both the Internet and consumers' attention, sometimes with interesting new side dishes (Burger King  (RBI)  with a truffle burger and cheesy tater tots) and sometimes with manufactured beefs with other fast food chains. (See Wendy's  (WEN)  vs. McDonald's tit-for-tat here).

After all, fast-food chains are always on the hunt for some publicity and drama as well. It's fun to create healthy competition! McDonald's  (MCD)  BigMac and Burger King's Whopper have been duking it out for decades, both finding huge success. Having brand competition can be fun for consumer's to watch and it often works out for both brand parties.

Burger King Makes a Curious Move

On Aug. 8, Burger King customers received a puzzling email from Burger King's main marketing email that left many confused after reading it. Each customer that received the email from Burger King had a digital receipt for a food order that they had never made. Additionally, the receipt is blank, which makes it even creepier!

The email says: "Thanks for ordering from Burger King! Your order will be ready to be picked up at ... the Burger King located at... While you're waiting for your food, let us know how you liked ordering online! It'll help us make the experience even better."

Many of those who received this email haven't placed an order with Burger King in months, so they were really confused when they got the mysterious email. 

Others thought their bank account was hacked and rushed to see if money had been taken from their bank account just to see thousands of other people getting the same email. Getting a receipt for an order you don't recall making would make me rush to my bank account too, especially during these days of data leaks and hacking.

Some customers received more than one email from Burger King and were even more confused. Some customers don't remember making a Burger King account and were puzzled by how that could have even happened. 

Others thought Burger King itself was hacked, but because all of the emails were sent at once to every customer, it is unlikely the burger chain was hacked and instead it is more likely that it was a glitch in Burger King's food app or an issue on their website.

“We are aware of the issue, which was the result of an internal processing error," a company spokesperson told Gizmodo in a statement.

Domino's  (DPZ)  got the email from Burger King. Although they aren't competitors in the burger world, they sure are in fast food, and turned the incident to their advantage.