How Not to Handle Negative Food Truck Press on Social Media
One of the consistent topics we cover for food truck owners is how to properly handle the good and bad of social media. There is a good reason why, and it primarily centers around not damaging your food truck’s brand and not to alienate any future or existing customers.
This week we found a proof positive example as to what not to do when you receive negative press which then carries into the world of social media.
In the latest episode of Kitchen Nightmares, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay got so fed up he refused to help a pair of restaurant owners, Amy and Samy Bouzaglo, of Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, Arizona, to salvage their floundering business.
In spite of the episode’s predictable outcome, the couple proudly promoted it on their company’s Facebook page in April before it was shown on television. When the episode aired last Friday, a storm of social media criticism ensued and the feisty Bouzaglos fought back.
The couple jumped on Facebook to defend themselves.
“We do not feel the need to make any excuses for our behavior on tonight’s show,” they said in a statement on Friday. “We do not, nor have we ever stolen or taken any of our servers, waitresses, or waiters tips at Amy’s Baking Company.” They added that they pay their staff “anywhere between $8.00 to $14.00 per hour” and challenged any of the more than 100 people who have worked for them in the past year to prove the allegations uncovered by “Kitchen Nightmares.” They ended the statement with: “So please enjoy the show! Amy & Samy”
By Sunday, after the local paper details from the first day of filming, they went into PR mode:
“Samy and I would just like to thank all of our loyal friends, family and customers who have supported us,” Amy posted on the company’s public Facebook page on Sunday.
But by Monday afternoon, after Reddit, Yelp, and Facebook users criticized them and accused them of reselling other company’s baked goods—some posted links proving that almost all of the pictures of Amy’s “homemade” items had been lifted from other people’s blogs. Things got ugly.
It’s probably best to just let some of the Bouzaglos’ actual Facebook and Twitter posts speak for themselves:
Then Samy Bouzaglo started threatening anyone from Yelp or Reddit.
And then they went and brought God into it:
But the internet can be relentless and, by dinnertime, Amy Bouzaglo was lashing out even at her supporters, and started posting things like this:
And, for good measure, they posted one last defiant statement on Twitter before locking down their account:
Even after “Kitchen Nightmares” and all of the Bouzaglos’ confessions, the company’s website still states: “All of our Pastries are baked fresh daily by me.” It also still features a page devoted to Amy’s baking, with photos—like the gorgeous Henna Mehndi Cake— that critics have shown were taken from other sites.
As of this morning the nasty posts have disappeared from Amy’s Baking Company’s Facebook page and the couple now claims the page has been hacked:
We hope this example of how not to handle yourself on social media shines a light on why we stress that keeping yourself in check when responding to negative press and reviews.
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