A California restaurant sparked controversy after a customer accused it of selling chicken from fast food chain Popeyes and passing it off as its own.
A Yelp user alleges he saw Sweet Dixie Kitchen, a small restaurant in Long Beach, California, selling Popeyes' Southern-style food, Fox News reports.
"Before my friends and I got seated [at the restaurant] we saw them quickly bring in two large boxes of Popeyes to the kitchen," he wrote in his review.
His suspicions were further aroused when he began eating the waffles and fried chicken he ordered.
"I kindly asked our waiter how they cooked their fried chicken," said the Yelp user. "After checking he admitted that they do in fact use Popeyes. The manager compensated us for the entire meal."
His comments quickly drew bad reviews from other customers who felt deceived by the restaurant.
"I want to see the contract between this restaurant & Popeyes to know what percentage of $$ Popeyes is getting from this restaurant to be so proudly serving their chicken," said another user.
Some defended the restaurant
"I really don't see an issue with this," wrote another Yelp user. "While they say they make everything in-house, there's some wiggle room there. No restaurant on earth makes everything in-house. I think the 1 star the guy gave was unjustified."
When probed, Sweet Dixie Kitchen owner Kim Sanchez also rose to her restaurant's defense.
"We PROUDLY SERVE Popeyes' spicy tenders -- the best fried chicken anywhere and from New Orleans -- which are delivered twice a day," wrote Sanchez on Yelp. "We also in case you need to know buy our gumbo from a friend who sells it at a local farmer's market. We promote usually small batch local producers in our menu. The exception is Popeyes -- we can’t fry at this location -- and it the fried chicken I love so much and I ate a ton of it in the ATL. So I serve it."
In a separate interview, Sanchez continued to brush off the criticism, adding she has always been honest about the chicken's origins.
She has also since reached out to Popeyes asking for a partnership. She has yet to hear from the restaurant chain.
"I would be glad to put Popeyes on my menu," Sanchez said. "I walk in through the front door carrying the bag of chicken. The customers know where it’s from. Popeyes knows."
In the meantime, she says she will continue running the business "the same way we have always done -- honest that we make nearly all from scratch."