Photo: Boners BBQ
Sometimes, small businesses just screw things up on social media. The latest fail comes from Boners BBQ in Atlanta, Georgia (via UnMarketing).If you couldn’t glean it from the name, Boners is a BBQ joint that features scantily clad women waiting the tables.
And apparently, if you don’t tip them, their boss gets really mad on Facebook.
A customer went into the restaurant, was unsatisfied, and wrote a pretty civil negative review on Yelp that declared the food ‘tepid’ and the decor ‘second hand picnic-y.’
What did Boners do?
It put up a picture of the customer on its Facebook page, along with this caption. Owner Andrew Capron added a couple snarky comments, too:
Wow. Later, Boners put up a weak, half-hearted apology (“We apologise for any inappropriateness on our part.”) and pulled the pic from the page. Capron continued to explain that this all happened because he felt that the customer had wronged his workers by not leaving a tip.
So, the customer went to Reddit and posted her side of the story. She says she did leave a tip, and detailed the amount:
“The basics are that my husband and I went to Boner’s BBQ for his birthday dinner. We were enticed there with a Scoutmob coupon (for $10 off) and we were the only ones in the place for our meal except for a brief period where a couple came in to get a pickup order. We paid in cash and yes, we left a tip. The ticket was $40 even minus $10 for the coupon + tax= $32.80 We dropped two twenties on the table and left. And yes, I did, politely, let the waitress know that the food wasn’t as I expected and no, I didn’t lick the plates or even eat all the food, that was my husband. He is far less picky about his BBQ than I am.”
It doesn’t matter if she’s telling the truth or not (though it makes things even worse if she is). There’s no excuse for making things personal with a customer in any circumstance. If someone’s being inappropriate or rowdy, do what it takes to quell the situation on-site. If someone says bad things about your company that you feel are untrue, refute them with a counter-argument.
Capron does get some credit for owning up to his mistake, explaining in one of the Facebook comment threads that “I lost my lid and made a bad judgment in anger.”
But this small business went beyond a social media or customer service fail. Calling a customer a bitch and posting her picture on Facebook is simply unprofessional.
UPDATE: Capron has posted an apology to the customer on Facebook:
“Dear, Stephanie S. – We are truly sorry, it was a bonehead move on our part. But more importantly – it was rude to you and an inappropriate use of social media, which has been a driving force for our business because we can’t afford traditional advertising. We rely on word-of-mouth. Your experience was yours to share and not mine to abuse. Boners BBQ is my passion and my life. Please give me the opportunity to serve you again at our expense- if not please allow me to fully refund your money on me, Sincerely, Andrew Capron.”
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