Hurricane Grill & Wings’ Aprils Fools’ Day “Blue Wing Sauce” Hoax Goes Viral for Autism Awareness



Hurricane Grill & Wings' Aprils Fools' Day "Blue Wing Sauce" Hoax Goes Viral for Autism Awareness

Hurricane Grill & Wings will Make a Donation for Every Chicken Wing Sold at One of Hurricane’s 62 Locations During the Month of April

April is Autism Awareness Month and Hurricane Grill & Wings, a beach-themed full-service restaurant franchise, is bringing out all the stops to raise awareness for the cause. After the brand’s bright blue colored chicken wing sauce, dubbed “Blazin’ Blue Raz,” drew viral attention for April Fools’ Day (3 million plus engaged with the campaign), leadership announced the real intention behind the hoax: To raise exposure (and money) for Autism Awareness Month utilizing the cause’s well-known blue campaign color.

Via Hurricane Grill & Wings Facebook page, the company announced on April 2: “April is #AutismAwarenessMonth and we’d like to honor our team members whose families are impacted by autism. We’re making a donation to Els for Autism for every single wing sold at any of our 62 locations all April long. If a blue chicken wing can reach over 1.1 million people, imagine what we can do by sharing awareness about something that impacts 1 in 68 American children and their families.”

Based on past data, Hurricane Grill & Wings estimates that it will raise more than $15,000 for the Els for Autism organization, which was established in 2009 by Liezl and Ernie Els, parents of Ben, who has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Ernie Els is a South African professional golfer and a former world number one. Els for Autism is designed to be a global hub to connect the international autism community. Its Jupiter, Florida based facility creates shared best practices and the latest research for improved collaboration.

“We were really touched when we found out that Hurricane Grill & Wings was inspired to get involved because of their team members who have kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD),” said Pam Minelli, Director of Development for the Els for Autism Foundation. “As a fellow parent of a child with ASD, along with our founders Ernie and Liezl Els, we are very grateful to Hurricane for donating a portion of their April sales proceeds to help children affected by autism.”

“There are a few Hurricane Grill & Wings and Hurricane BTW franchise owners who have children affected by autism spectrum disorder and we are committed to supporting them,” said Brooksy Smith, Chief Brand Officer for Hurricane AMT (Hurricane Grill & Wings, Hurricane BTW and Hurricane Dockside). “Our April Fools’ Day campaign promoting Blazin’ Blue Raz sauce truly knocked it out of the park and we’re hoping our guests and fans will continue the momentum by stopping in during the month of April for an order of chicken wings.”

Learn more about the Els for Autism organization at http://www.elsforautism.org. Find a Hurricane Grill & Wings near you at http://www.hurricanewings.com/locations/.

Hurricane Grill & Wings' Aprils Fools' Day "Blue Wing Sauce" Hoax Goes Viral for Autism AwarenessWith more than 62 restaurants located across the United States, Florida-based Hurricane Grill & Wings is known for its jumbo, fresh wings, more than 30 signature sauces and rubs and tropical, laid-back vibe. Named by USA Today as one of “10 Great Places to Wing It,” selected as one of the “Future 50” by Restaurant Business and as one of Franchise Times “Top 40 Fast and Serious,” Hurricane Grill & Wings’ menu includes wings, tacos, burgers and seafood. The original Hurricane Grill & Wings opened in Fort Pierce, Fla., in 1995 and has expanded to locations in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, and Texas, with over 50 restaurants currently under development. For more information, visit www.hurricanewings.com.