Every restaurant could use a reminder of how NOT to react on Social Media, sometimes the greatest examples present themselves in full color. We’ve all heard about the ABC’s, basically they are the building blocks for future growth and education. Well, let me introduce you to the ABC’s of how not to react to customers at you restaurant either in person or more importantly on Social Media. Let me introduce to another ABC – Amy’s Baking Company, they will serve as the foundation of how not to act as a restauranteur, EVER.
If you haven’t already heard or seen the great restaurant train-wreck ever documented, prepare yourself for the ensuing entertainment. I first saw this on Buzzfeed’s post, This Is The Most Epic Brand Meltdown On Facebook Ever and they were not kidding. To start with, this restaurant was chosen to be on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and was then ceremoniously let go by Chef Ramsay, which should be a red flag right there. You can view below Season 6 Episode 16 part 1 and 2 below.
As you will soon see, the issues run far and wide. I could dedicate an entire week to covering the problems but I want to focus on the major mistake of commenting publicly on online forums. We are all familiar with Las Vegas’s old tagline, “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas”, well what is written online, stays online with you FOREVER.
Amy and her husband Samy make up a volatile combination, they are control freaks and they over-react to everything. But the biggest issue is that they are hyper sensitive to criticism. Perhaps the greatest and most epic example of an restaurant online failure you need to check out their Facebook Page and screen shots below. Note that they have a great following on Facebook with over 17K fans at the time of this post, except those fans are only there to witness the train-wreck.
Please note that the content below includes some strong and potentially offensive language. As this story continues to spiral out of control, I will be updating and adding links to the comments if you care to stay up to date on Amy and Samy’s shenanigans.
All likes are not created equally.
I am trying to keep this light-hearted but please keep in mind that there are many great lessons to be learned from this. I wish I could tell you that what you are about to read is made up, but if you watched any of the above video you know better after watching the owners actions on Kitchen Nightmare.
Let the fun begin:
When you are flamed online, don’t fight back and add fuel to the fire.
If they don’t listen at first, try ALL CAPS.
Criticism is a hard pill to swallow, especially once a restaurant realizes their brand is owned by their audience. Customers can now dictate a brand’s reputation online.
Wow, right? This quite possibly is the greatest example of how not to react to criticism. It is obvious that Amy and Samy don’t believe that the customer is always right, well if you believe that it’s best to keep that to yourself. I don’t care how good your food is or whether you are a celebrity chef, you cannot act this way in-front of customers. Even your loyal customers will turn their back on you. If you care to join in on some of the commentary from my Facebook post please do, and please share your thoughts in the comment section below as well.
What are the take-aways for a restaurant owner?
- The customer is ALWAYS right.
- If you are not willing to satisfy your customer’s preferences, change careers.
- We have two ears and one mouth for a reason, listen to what people are telling you. You might actually learn something that could change your business for the better.
- Do not fight trolls, Critics, Bloggers, Yelpers, Reddits. You will never win.
- Read the reviews and listen to the comments (see #3 above)
- There is such a thing as bad PR in the age of the social web
You know the old saying that there is no such thing as bad PR? Well, in the digital age where everything lives on infinitely changes that rule of thumb. Bad press is one thing, but going viral for your crazy rants and outbursts on TV and Social Media platforms is just plain, crazy.
If you do not understand how social media works it is best to outsource the services. The example of Crazy Amy the Meowing Ranter should be all the evidence you need. If you need help or looking for resources, drop me an email and we can talk. Until then, if and when confronted with negative comments on your restaurant take a deep breathe and walk away from the computer. Fire needs oxygen to burn, don’t provide the hot air to keep the fire burning.
Have you ever confronted a situation like this either as the customer or the restaurant? Please share below as I would love to hear and see more examples.