UPDATE: Amy’s posted to Facebook claiming their account was hacked…several days after the rants began…and deleted the posts.
Buzzfeed called it “the most epic meltdown on Facebook ever.”
And it’s hard to argue.
Short Version: Amy’s Baking Company was featured on an episode of FOX’s “Kitchen Nightmares” show. Appropriately titled, obviously. The kitchen, staff and owners were so bad, the host, Chef Gordon Ramsay, shut down production and left the restaurant.
Clips of the episode are available on Eater.com here.
They then went completely off the chain on social media, virtually confronting all of the “haters” with…uhh…hate. And lots of it.
The Huffington Post has the blow-by-blow here.
As you can see, the vitriol was in plain sight.
How can Amy’s Baking Company save face? And even turn this situation into a victory?
As a business, you can’t antagonize customers without expecting them to leave without paying…without ever coming back. The first step to recovery is issuing a public apology to the customers they’ve wronged over the years. No ifs, buts or excuses.
2. Space Donation
Donate the restaurant space once a week during hours they are normally closed to a local Scottsdale anger management group.
The restaurant, once a den of anger, can become a zone of zen.
3. Redesign, Reimagine and Reopen
Like a snake sheds their skin, the restaurant needs to evolve.
As painful as it may be, they should take advantage of Ramsay’s advice to condense the menu. Then give the space a physical facelift – not because it’s ugly, but because they need to change the energy in the space.
A grand reopening signifies a break from the past.
4. Corporate Social Responsibility
Finally, they need to develop – QUICKLY – a corporate social responsibility program that ties their restaurant to one or more worthwhile charities.
Simply, it gives them something upbeat to talk about in the media and through their digital platforms.
I suggest a $500,000 initiative where a small percentage of profits gets sliced into an escrow account until they’ve collected a cool half-million to split between a few pre-announced charities.
It would drive traffic and convince jilted customers to give the restaurant another try.
What else do you suggest Amy’s Baking Company should do to restore their image?