#FAILFriday: “Kitchen Nightmares”

By: Austin Jensen

First of all, I would like to say happy 2014 to everyone!  I hope that you all had an amazing 2013 and are excited for what the future holds!  This is the first Fail Friday of the year, and we are going to look at one of the major social media breakdowns of 2013.  Hopefully, this will be a quick lesson in what not to do when you take to social media.

Recently, one of my friends told me that he wanted to show me an episode of Kitchen Nightmares.  It is a show hosted by Gordon Ramsey.  Basically, Gordon goes in and helps restaurants that need a change.  Personally, I had never heard of the show,but I was eager to see what it was.  The show took place in a restaurant called Amy’s Baking  Company.  It is tough to put into words everything that was wrong with this place, and it blew my mind to see such close minded people running a business!   The owners would scream at their employees for every little mistake, and would constantly blame the customers for not knowing “good food” whenever it was sent back to the kitchen.


Needless to say this episode drew a lot of attention all over social media.  Facebook and Twitter took the biggest hits.  The owners of Amy’s Baking Company took notice of this negative feedback and decided they should take matters into their own hands.  They put up long Facebook posts that were all CAPS and filled with verbal attacks at anyone who said something negative about their restaurant!  The example below is one of the more mellow posts:

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 1.00.31 PM

I am forced to believe that the owners probably did not recognize the magnitude of social media.  My guess is that they thought that they were simply responding to a negative comment, not knowing how many people would potentially see what they had written.  Social media has become an amazing tool to reach the masses quickly, but it needs to be used correctly.  Facebook has become a company’s calling card.  It is where people go to read reviews, and feel out the general vibe of the company.  I am not saying that one wrong tweet or post can make or break you, but with the emergence of social media, it is more important than ever to think about what you say.  Many times I will create a post then I will schedule that post for an hour or so in the future.  By doing this I give myself time to make sure it is worded correctly, and gives me time to cancel it if I want to change anything.  Remember that social media is becoming more and more of a value added channel for your organization.  So before you post or tweet, make sure that you are truly adding value!

I encourage all of you to go watch this episode of Kitchen Nightmares and you will better understand this blog!  It is a great lesson in, “what not to do,” in all areas of business.  As always we want to hear what you have to think!


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