Restaurant's Facebook Goes Nuclear Over Reviews & Gordon Ramsay; Owners Cry Hack
from the nobody-believes-you dept
I guess I can’t say for sure how I would react to a negative review (besides reading some Techdirt comments directed at me), but I’d like to think that I have thick enough skin not to make a complete ass out of myself. That’s why it always surprises me to see companies that should know better poop their pants over what customers (or non-customers) say on sites like Yelp and Reddit. Whether it’s suing customers or issuing DMCA notices, I simply fail to see the logic in pissing off even more people with that kind of behavior. If someone posted a negative review of one of my books for instance, even petulantly, I’d prefer to look at it as an opportunity to both learn from the negative review and appreciate the fact that someone out there cared enough to write something about it at all.
Or, if you’re Amy’s Baking Company, you can write off all the complaints as coming from “haters” and then make a complete ass of yourself on your company’s Facebook page. That restaurant has an interesting history of poor service, garnering poor reviews on Yelp, and even cursing at customers and tossing them out of their establishment for complaining. The woman who runs the place (you’ll never guess what her name is) appears to have the business sense of a drunken chimpanzee. In one of the all-time worst decisions of anything ever, they decided to bring in Gordon Ramsay’s show Kitchen Nightmares for the stated purpose of proving to their customers that their food is crazy good and the haters are all idiots. Those that have watched the show in the past can probably already hear the freight train of doom headed Amy’s way.
On Friday night’s episode of Kitchen Nightmares, shouty chef Gordon Ramsay quit for the first time ever in the show’s 82-episode history. Amy and Samy Bouzaglo — owners of Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, Arizona — blamed everyone for their troubles, including “haters” and “bloggers,” but not themselves. The owners did not give service staff tips (pocketing the money instead) and admitted to having fired over 100 employees. Said Ramsay: “After about 100 Kitchen Nightmares, I met two owners I could not help, it is because they are incapable of listening.”
I’m not normally one for reality shows, but go watch this. Seriously. The level of crazy in Amy and her husband Samy is as epic as it is entertaining. Right off the bat, Amy breathlessly rails against “haters” and “bloggers” who are apparently to blame for her serving variously under-prepared and over-prepared food, wait times that are measured in hours for customers, and food combinations that would make even an amatuer cook blow their brains out in dismay.
Still, the whole point of the show is to help failing restaurants turn things around, right? So obviously things went poorly on the show, the public reacted, and Amy and Samy learned their lesson and got their shitake mushrooms together.
Of course they didn’t. Instead, their Facebook page went at times all-caps nuclear, with some of the greatest combinations of religiosity, anger, and cursing I’ve ever witnessed. Some treasures of highlights for you to enjoy.
“We will not bend to the will of these haters and sinners.”
“I AM NOT STUPID ALL OF YOU ARE. YOU JUST DO NOT KNOW GOOD FOOD. IT IS NOT UNCOMMON TO RESELL THINGS WALMART DOES NOT MAKE THEIR ELECTRONICS OR TOYS SO LAY OFF!!!!”
“I am keeping note of all names here. We will be pursuing action against you legaly, and against reddit and yelp, for this plot you have come together on. you are all just punks.”
“WE ARE NOT FREAKING OUT. WE DO NOT CARE ABOUT A “WITCH HUNT” I AM NOT A WITCH. I AM GODS CHILD. PISS OFF ALL OF YOU. FUCK REDDITS, FUCK YELP AND FUCK ALL OF YOU. BRING IT. WE WILL FIGHT BACK.”
Now, it should be noted that Amy and Samy have since claimed that someone hacked their Facebook page. Reading the above posts, which have since been deleted, you may be inclined to think that level of crazy is obviously the work of troublemakers. To that I suggest again watching the episode. Either someone is doing an immensely accurate impression of these two, or it was them and they aren’t enjoying the blowback that comes with pissing off everyone.
So, what’s the lesson that should be learned here? Is it that you shouldn’t treat your customers like garbage? Is it that you shouldn’t lash out about poor reviews online, regardless of whether you agree with them or not? Is it that you shouldn’t seek out Gordon Ramsay as a way to vindicate yourself? Or is that reacting to bad press from all the above by blowing an o-ring on your company Facebook page and then crying hack only makes you look petty?
None of the above. The lesson here is that you shouldn’t go to Amy’s Baking Company, because if the food doesn’t kill you, I think there’s at least a chance Amy will.