Dueling duo of restaurants battle over signs

Sign wars between IN fast food joints have whole town talking

SCOTTSBURG, IN (WAVE) – For the past few weeks, there’s been a serious feud brewing outside two Scottsburg restaurants that’s all spelled out in black and white.

It’s coming down to Taco Bell versus Popeyes in the small community and the beef between the two is ruffling some feathers around town.

The top taco makers in town have been serving up hot food in Scottsburg for 28 years. Any new addition to the crowd can make the longtime restaurant managers a little uneasy.

“We were pretty salty about it at first,” said Whitnei Ward, General Manager at Taco Bell in Scottsburg.

Putting their salt on the side, the light bulb went on for Taco Bell, and they approached their new neighbor about engaging one another in more creative signage.

“One day, I took my chicken out and he was getting attraction out there. So she comes out and says Hey! I feel attacked,” said Jackie Brock, General Manager at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.

Brock is talking about the restaurant’s chicken mascot.

“And so, we were thinking, we got beef with that chicken,” said Katelyn Phillips, assistant general manager at Taco Bell.

So they put it in writing. Just one day later - Popeyes put up a sign of their own.

“So we changed our sign that says let’s not taco ‘bout it and we had our chicken out there taking pictures,” Brock said.

“It blew my mind, really,” Phillips said.

That’s when the meat of the messages starting filling in, with the businesses trading messages back and forth on their street-facing signs, like “Is that all you guac?" and "We are jalapeno business.”

“We used, bean there, done that. Or ques closed,” Phillips said.

“Our thighs are nacho business, that was a pretty good one on a couple levels,” said Nathan Chiantella, Director of Operations at Popeyes.

“Then, they say something and I’m like, oh! That was good! They got us on that one," Phillips said, laughing.

“Something just pops in and I just start laughing and I’m like, oh that’s my next sign for sure,” Brock said.

People in town are paying attention, even putting in their two cents.

“We actually have people calling us now with suggestions,” Ward said.

“They’re like, we’re going to come in and eat just to see the signs! So we put a suggestion box out,” Brock said.

"You get one side of the story on your way to work and the other side coming home,” Chiantella said.

They don’t share recipes to the food and it’s the same with the signs.

“The only person that knows what’s going up is the chicken and that’s cause he puts it up," Brock said.

“We’ve been kind of laying low, then waiting for them to say something and then we spike,” Phillips said.

So what’s next on the menu for this dueling duo?

“They’re going to have a dance battle at some point in time,” Ward said.

“They want to do a dance off and I’m game for that,” Brock said. "If my chicken can dance, we’ll do the dance.”

Pickin' chicken or talkin' tacos, both sides say it’s all in good fun. There’s no hurt feelings or bad blood in this battle of the signs.

“We’re hoping to see it go on for a good while,” Brock said. “And we might even get Sonic on board!”

“As long as you’re not picking up pizza,” Ward said, laughing.

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