Buffalo Wild Wings Is Under Fire For Its "Boneless Wings," According To This Lawsuit

Someone really had a bone to pick with the wing chain.


Buffalo Wild Wings/Allrecipes

It’s time to face a harsh truth: There’s really no such thing as boneless wings. 

No, they’re not chicken wings that have been deboned. They’re really just white breast meat, cut in the shape of a wing, breaded and fried. Glorified chicken nuggets, if you will. 

Customers nationwide seemed to come to this mutual understanding, but collectively agreed the myth of ‘boneless wings’ could stay alive in the sanctuary of Buffalo Wild Wings. Ever since their introduction in 2003, they’ve become one of the most popular items on the menu. 

Sure, flags have been raised over the years, but does anyone feel strongly enough to do anything about it? Apparently, yes. 

Chicago resident Aimen Halim filed a class-action lawsuit against Buffalo Wild Wings and Inspire Brands, Inc. in the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois, arguing that the company is charging too much for a falsely advertised product.

Apparently, Halim was not let in on the secret, as he "reasonably believed the Products were actually wings that were deboned.” According to the lawsuit, he “would not have purchased them, or would have paid significantly less for them” had he known the truth.

Buffalo Wild Wings responded with this simple, yet legendary tweet.

The most basic explanation is that breast meat is cheaper than whole chicken wings. Plenty of other chains are in on the boneless chicken game too, but have more aptly labeled their dishes with names like “chicken poppers” or “boneless chicken” instead.

It seems Halim feels that, without that layer of ambiguity, the chain "willfully, falsely, and knowingly misrepresented" their product. The suit asserts, "this clear-cut case of false advertising should not be permitted, as consumers should be able to rely on the plain meaning of a product’s name and receive what they are promised.”

While "boneless wings" might have been one of the best marketing strategies a wing joint could ever devise, it seems the gig is up. 

The lawsuit is seeking a court order for the restaurant chain to stop making these "misleading representations" immediately. It also demands compensation (an unspecified amount) for the monetary losses suffered by Halim and other Buffalo Wild Wings customers in Illinois. 

So, perhaps we have been overpaying for some mislabeled chicken cutlets after all. We’ll admit, boneless wings, with their maximum meat filling, don’t have the skin, bone, and cartilage that makes them extra succulent and satisfying, especially crisped up right out of the fryer. However, they’re easy to eat, less messy, and undeniably delicious. 

This is not all to say that your favorite boneless chicken bites will be gone for good. They’ll just be reintroducing themselves as “skinless chicken tenders,” “deep-fried wing-shaped chicken breast meat,” or something equally unexciting. 

We’ll have to see how the court rules, but if Halim’s suit prevails, it sounds like "boneless wings” will no longer fly—not that they ever could.

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