Gini Dietrich

Boners BBQ, Papa John’s Need Crisis Coaching

By: Gini Dietrich | January 10, 2012 | 
223

Last night I’m finally settling down after a very long day and I receive a Facebook message from Patrick Reyes (whom I’m not speaking to until after the Super Bowl) and a text message from Justin Brackett.

They both have sent me a photo that made my blood boil.

You see, Boners BBQ posted a photo of a customer, who apparently didn’t leave a tip, and used expletives to say what people should do to her if she comes into their restaurant.

Have a look for yourself.

The photo has since been taken down and an apology has been issued, but not before 71 people (overnight, by-the-way) chimed in.

I’m kind of astounded that the first post would even make its way to their Facebook wall.

Something rather similar happened at Papa John’s this past weekend. Shelly Kramer tells the story on her blog and you can read it here, but the gist of it is that a woman went into a restaurant, ordered, and rather than ask for her name, the kid behind the register wrote “lady chinky eyes” on the receipt.

Yes, in 2012 some kid actually wrote that on the receipt. The receipt the customer ended up seeing and posting on her social networks (rightfully so).

Here’s the deal. Neither one of these things are public relations issues. They both are culture, HR, and operations issues. But they both became public relations crisis because their customers now have this thing called social media at their disposal.

It used to be that the Papa John’s customer would have gone home and shown the receipt to her friends and family and they would have boycotted the restaurant. If she had any communication savvy, she may even have gone to the local news. But it would have stayed there – local.

Now she has access to hundreds, if not thousands, of people who will listen to her story and help her spread it far and wide.

On the flip side of things, your employees also have access to social media. I’m not entirely sure why the Boners BBQ employee thought it was OK to post a photo of a customer and say those awful things about her.

I waited tables in college. I know what it’s like to not get a tip, especially when the customer was extremely high-maintenance, but I’m pretty sure it never would have occurred to me to post a photo of that person on the wall of the restaurant…mostly from fear of losing my job.

It’s 2012. You can’t ignore the fact that, even if you don’t use social media, your customers do.

Because of that, you need to do two things right now:

  1. Write a social media policy. You can find a huge database of them so you have examples of what to include. But don’t just write the policy. Actually go through it with your employees. Give them examples like Kenneth Cole, Papa John’s, and Boners BBQ. Talk to them about the importance of being professional, no matter how much you want to tell your side of the story. In the public’s eye, and through social media, the customer is always right.
  2. Be prepared 24/7. Even if you don’t use social media 24/7 and give people time off, say so on your profiles. It’s pretty easy to write, “If there is an issue, we respond between the hours of X and X on Monday through Friday” (Comcast does this well). Boners BBQ deleted the post, but not until 107 people commented on it and it was shared nearly 40 times. They also issued an “apology,” which feels like an “I’m sorry, but” response. But they thought their job was done there. They’re being skewered in the comments and no one is responding. Crisis work is a 24/7 job. You must be prepared to not sleep one night, if that’s what it takes to manage the crisis…especially if you’re the one who created it.

Something bad is going to happen, just like it does offline. It’s just a matter of time. It’s in how you respond that makes or breaks you.

Update: Boners BBQ issued a real apology on their Facebook wall (see below). It took them 16 hours to do it, but they did it.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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223 Comments on "Boners BBQ, Papa John’s Need Crisis Coaching"

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bobledrew
bobledrew
4 years 5 months ago

I’d suggest facepalming, but that seems just a bit of an underreaction for such a boneheaded action. Stunningly insensitive.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@bobledrew LOL! Facepalming definitely should occur, as well.

krusk
krusk
4 years 5 months ago

@bobledrew *superglue facepalm*??? 😉

JustInTheSouth
JustInTheSouth
4 years 5 months ago

@Buncombian True other than the BBQ place would be considered Local. #buylocal

Buncombian
Buncombian
4 years 5 months ago

@JustInTheSouth Right. I keep forgetting that Atlanta is a place.

JustInTheSouth
JustInTheSouth
4 years 5 months ago

@Buncombian LOL. Yeah something like that. How is AVL life for you?

Buncombian
Buncombian
4 years 5 months ago

@JustInTheSouth You know, sunshine, roses, unicorns and an endless supply of peeled grapes. #AVL

JustInTheSouth
JustInTheSouth
4 years 5 months ago

@Buncombian HAHA! You must live in South Asheville! #AVL

Buncombian
Buncombian
4 years 5 months ago

@JustInTheSouth Heavens no! I’m too young to retire!

JustInTheSouth
JustInTheSouth
4 years 5 months ago

@Buncombian haha

myimperative
myimperative
4 years 5 months ago

@Buncombian Fun changes ahead for our lovely little household.. Cabin will be available again in the spring. #foodforthought #passiton

Buncombian
Buncombian
4 years 5 months ago

@myimperative Really??? Hmmm.

jenzings
jenzings
4 years 5 months ago
Gini, I wrote about the Papa John’s thing yesterday–and found at least 6 other instances where employees have described customers in negative terms in the descriptor portion of the receipts. It is an employee training issue at this point–every single business should have as part of their training and orientation a “use your brain and common sense” section about how social media can damage their business. I differ slightly on the 24/7 thing–I think that given the issues involved (that it was a corporate Papa Johns twitter account and the weekend, and that this is a franchise relationship) their response… Read more »
jenzings
jenzings
4 years 5 months ago

*adding here: I like the posting of availability. That is definitely something that should be done–that would definitely manage expectations.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@jenzings Good question on the common sense thing – I have NO idea. I, too, think Papa John’s handled the issue appropriately, but I don’t think Boners did. Their non-apology is out of control and making things worse. But I feel about Papa John’s like I did about Domino’s in 2008. Even though it was a franchise that had the issue, the Domino’s CEO issued an apology. Most customers aren’t going to say, “Oh well, it was this franchise so I just won’t go to that one anymore.” They equate the entire brand.

jenzings
jenzings
4 years 5 months ago

Oh, totally agree that customers aren’t going to separate it. It’s definitely something that I think franchise brands are going to need to figure out–I’m half expecting a social media monitoring requirement to make its way into franchise contracts. It’s the only way to protect the brand. My only point is that while customers see it one way, the contractual obligations make this not necessarily an easy task for corporate communicators. @ginidietrich

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@jenzings Yeah…as much fun as this whole social media thing is, it sure presents some new issues.

jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich oh my god.the second one.will comment later but oh my god

elijahmay
elijahmay
4 years 5 months ago

RT @bobledrew Boners BBQ demonstrates why it’s named that: http://t.co/85Q30AC6 #prfail #customerservice (from @ginidietrich)

audio
audio
4 years 5 months ago

@jangles lol good lord.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@JohnFalchetto Aren’t you ice climbing?

JohnFalchetto
JohnFalchetto
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich Nop, just geared up but I still have to work my day job 🙂

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@JohnFalchetto Are you working in your gear?

JohnFalchetto
JohnFalchetto
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich Wish I could 🙂

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@bdorman264 HAHAHAHAAH! I’m pretty sure they DO have a sense of humor.

KenMueller
4 years 5 months ago

Doggone you, I had a similar post waiting in the wings, but it might be sufficiently different that I’ll still use it. I guess I’ll have to tweak it a bit.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@KenMueller I knew I was your muse!

KenMueller
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich No, I’d already had this one mostly written, and you were already mentioned, but you’ll get a link to this one as well.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@KenMueller Suuuuuure. If that makes you feel better.

patrickreyes
patrickreyes
4 years 5 months ago

Even though you’re not speaking to me until after the Super Bowl (because I was cheering for the Broncos and Tebow), I’m glad you wrote this! I still can’t believe Boners BBQ did what they did! The “apology” is a bit pathetic and they are still feeling the effects of it on Twitter too. I hope they learned their lesson. By the way, here is the review from Stephanie S. on Yelp. Not sure if it warranted the response Boners BBQ gave her…

http://www.yelp.com/biz/boners-bbq-atlanta

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@patrickreyes I appreciate your sending the screen grab for my use today. But it doesn’t make up for the fact that you’re a traitor.

patrickreyes
patrickreyes
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich If I was rooting against the Bears then I could understand but I didn’t realize you hated the Broncos so much!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@patrickreyes I’ll talk to you next month.

HowieSPM
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich@patrickreyes I thought Patrick was a Lions fan who is now a diehard Giants fan? Where did the broncos come in? I bet he has an Elway jersey in his closet.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@HowieSPM@patrickreyes He’s doing it just to annoy me.

patrickreyes
patrickreyes
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich@HowieSPM I’m cheering for the Broncos since the Lions have been eliminated. Mainly I like Tim Tebow and that’s why I’m rooting for Denver, a team @ginidietrich dislikes about as much as the Packers apparently.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@patrickreyes Why can’t you cheer for the Saints or the 49ers?

patrickreyes
patrickreyes
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich I’ll cheer for the Saints against San Fran. I’m hoping it’s a Saints / Packers NFC Championship. That will be a good game!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@patrickreyes The Packers won’t win on Sunday.

belllindsay
belllindsay
4 years 5 months ago

@patrickreyes@ginidietrich@HowieSPM Only in America could this degenerate into football talk! LOL

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@belllindsay@patrickreyes@HowieSPM I started it in the blog post so it didn’t really degenerate.

belllindsay
belllindsay
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich@patrickreyes@HowieSPM Crap. You’re right. Talk to me when the hockey playoffs are on! Lol!

MirandaM_EComm
MirandaM_EComm
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich Good points, tho I’m not sure a SM policy could have helped @BonersBBQ since it was the OWNER who did this… unreal.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@MirandaM_EComm It WAS the owner?! Please tell me that’s not true. Please, please, please.

MirandaM_EComm
MirandaM_EComm
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich It was :s

jasonkonopinski
4 years 5 months ago

When I saw the Papa John’s thing first crop up, I was gobsmacked. Like you, I spent my high school/college/grad school years waiting tables and bartending. Patrons could be insensitive, entitled douchecanoes but I would never even think of posting so idiotic where a customer might see it.

The stupidity, it burns.

jasonkonopinski
4 years 5 months ago

Edit to add: Every employee of your organization is your brand. While everyone who participates here understands this at a fundamental level, there’s a staggering number of businesses that simply don’t. Blergh.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@jasonkonopinski I can imagine it’s difficult when you have thousands of employees. But there has to be a brand steward who is diligent in making sure employees at all levels know how to behave. But, then, I guess that’s why Undercover Boss is on television. I can’t imagine any of my employees not knowing what I look like, or having a relationship with me, but it happens.

KenMueller
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich@jasonkonopinski I gotta tell ya. My son works for the new Chick Fil A that opened up here and you should see the manuals he was given and the training he went through. It’s amazing. They are so on top of it and are diligent in creating a culture that truly puts the customer first. Their manual is worth of a dozen blog posts about the importance of customer service. Truly amazing. Not to say it couldn’t happen there, but it would truly be odd if it did.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@KenMueller@jasonkonopinski And that’s the thing about Chick Fil A…they have values, a mission, and a vision and everyone knows what they are. There is a big difference between that and the owner of a BBQ joint posting a photo of a customer and making fun of her. I don’t get it.

jenzings
jenzings
4 years 5 months ago

Have you ever seen the Chris Rock sketch about jobs versus careers? That’s what I think of here. Bottom line: some people are there to earn a paycheck and really do not give a…hoot, shall we say, about the brand, or the boss, or the success of the company. That’s when there are problems, and frankly this will always be the case. There will always be people who do not care, who do not think, and, even worse, those who when irritated will set out to do the brand harm. @ginidietrich @jasonkonopinski

jenzings
jenzings
4 years 5 months ago

And yet, Chick Fil A had this exact same issue not long ago: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/13/chick-fil-a-ching-chong-r_n_1146266.html

Some people do not care, and apparently do not retain their training…@KenMueller @ginidietrich @jasonkonopinski

HowieSPM
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich@KenMueller@jasonkonopinski Chik-a-Fila has a lot more at stake I think. They have an image as a Good Christian Brand. Imagine if this happened to them. They don’t work on Sundays. It would be too late to fix.

HowieSPM
4 years 5 months ago

@jenzings@ginidietrich@jasonkonopinski this goes to the heart of what is wrong with the US. It isn’t that the rich aren’t taxed enough. It is that the bottom 99% make so little in pay. Minimum wage = job and no buy in or care. Clock in. Clock out. Pay me and if I lose this crappy job who cares I will get another.

80% of US jobs average under $30k per year. Yes we are a third world country already. But pay people more and give them a buy in for why they should care and you have careers.

KenMueller
4 years 5 months ago

@HowieSPM@jenzings@ginidietrich@jasonkonopinski I’d have to disagree in part on that. That kind of thinking defines us by money. We are what we earn. I think there are plenty of people who make far less and have great attitudes.

It cuts more to the core of whether we take pride in what we do, regardless of how much we earn. It’s whether we view our job merely as “work” or a calling/vocation.

Yes, I agree that people on the front lines need to be paid more. It’s a matter of perspective though. And our perspective of entitlement is way off kilter.

jasonkonopinski
4 years 5 months ago

@HowieSPM@ginidietrich@KenMueller I can hand it to Chick-Fil-A for staying true to their values, but their support of anti-gay organizations is one reason that I will never patronize their business. Ever.

http://equalitymatters.org/factcheck/201111010001

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@jasonkonopinski@HowieSPM@KenMueller They’re run by Mormons. It’s against their religion. I have a cousin who stopped going to church because her son is gay. It’s pretty heavy stuff.

KenMueller
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich@jasonkonopinski@HowieSPM actually, they aren’t Mormon, they are Baptist I believe. And I actually know one manager at a Chick Fil A who is gay, and openly so. Has been there for years.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@KenMueller@jasonkonopinski@HowieSPM Are you sure? I thought they were Mormon.

KenMueller
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich@jasonkonopinski@HowieSPM Nope. They provide a history to employees on DVD. The entire history is actually pretty amazing how they got to where they are and how they run things. The attention to product quality and detail is like no other.

jasonkonopinski
4 years 5 months ago

@KenMueller@HowieSPM@jenzings@ginidietrich It doesn’t define us by money, but it does address the very real concept of wage slavery that plagues this country profoundly. What’s one of the core concepts in shaping a truily social business from the inside? Empower your employees and break down the silos. Restaurants have arguably the highest rate of attrition of any industry so keeping good talent is a major obstacle.

Like all things, it’s about setting boundaries and having the right perspective. Entitlement definitely exists, but pursuing excellence keeps innovation up and production high.

KenMueller
4 years 5 months ago
@jasonkonopinski@HowieSPM@jenzings@ginidietrich That’s why the restaurant industry is such a great case study, because despite wage issues, the attrition rate would still be high. When looking at chains and franchises, it is a lot harder to break down the silos, but the culture can filter from the top down in a way that attrition is lower, i.e. the Chick-Fil-A example. Our local Chick-Fil-A has two cooks working there who used to be chefs in high end restaurants in Lancaster. they both attended culinary schools but chose Chick-Fil-A for the experience and culture as it is the best stepping stone to owning… Read more »
justinthesouth
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich@KenMueller@jasonkonopinski@HowieSPM Sorry to jump in on this one… but the Cathy’s are Christian and go to a church that is not affiliated with a denomination. They are family friend from my childhood.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@jasonkonopinski Like @jenzings asked…why is it called common sense when it’s not so common?

jasonkonopinski
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich@jenzings Irony. Duh.

jenzings
jenzings
4 years 5 months ago
Here’s the thing with the receipts–this has happened repeatedly. There are numerous posts on Consumerist where employees have described customers in less than acceptable terms. Clearly, part of the training includes using the cash register and that field–which I’m guessing is supposed to have the customer’s name. I can almost hear the training “if it’s really busy and you don’t have time to ask each person’s name, use a word that describes the customer.” This is when there should be another few sentences: “DO NOT use offensive terms to describe customers. Here are some examples of things that are offensive.… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@jenzings Sigh…

MattLaCasse
MattLaCasse
4 years 5 months ago

@kmueller62 @ginidietrich Not to mention that the BBQ place should probably rethink their naming strategy…

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@MattLaCasse Right?! What a terrible name.

MattLaCasse
MattLaCasse
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich I wouldn’t even think to eat at a place like that. I mean, am I that smart or are they just that dumb? Probably the latter.

kmueller62
kmueller62
4 years 5 months ago

@MattLaCasse @ginidietrich yeah, but that’s the strategy: Hooters, Dick’s Crab shack. They all play off of edgy themes

kmueller62
kmueller62
4 years 5 months ago

@MattLaCasse @ginidietrich i’m with you, i wouldn’t eat there, but it clearly appeals to others

MattLaCasse
MattLaCasse
4 years 5 months ago

@kmueller62 @ginidietrich I’m assuming this is their website. Which just…I mean… #nowords http://t.co/J2RjgqMp

kmueller62
kmueller62
4 years 5 months ago

@MattLaCasse @ginidietrich oh my word. Their “slogan” on the t-shirt….

MattLaCasse
MattLaCasse
4 years 5 months ago

@kmueller62 @ginidietrich This leads me to believe its a culture thing. Not an employee being dumb thing.

kmueller62
kmueller62
4 years 5 months ago

@MattLaCasse @ginidietrich oh clearly. and that was the owner anyway. so it is culture

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@Kristinesimpson Yep!

Kristinesimpson
Kristinesimpson
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich it is sad we still have to say it though. Social media is not just a phase people!

belllindsay
belllindsay
4 years 5 months ago

Um. Wow. I really can’t think of anything more to say, I’m *that* stunned by both of these examples.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@belllindsay It’s really disturbing.

HowieSPM
4 years 5 months ago

@belllindsay maybe Canada should punish PPJ’s by ending shipments of round bacon to them?

belllindsay
belllindsay
4 years 5 months ago

@HowieSPM Maybe @jasonkonopinski should stop stealing Canadian-type wordage like “gobsmacked”…? And the bacon thing.

mthompson55
mthompson55
4 years 5 months ago

I think to be 100% fair you need to mention that Papa Johns was on this Saturday night and did not take the weekend off. I thought they actually managed the issue pretty well.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@mthompson55 I agree – they did manage the situation well. That was my point – you have to be available, even on weekends.

HowieSPM
4 years 5 months ago
Well who eats at Papa Johns unless you seriously are starving. I would rather have a box of frozen Elios Pizza and eat it frozen. And anyone reading this who says ‘but I like Papa Johns’ needs some pizza training. Papa Johns. Round Table. Little Caesars. Shakeys. are off limits. Dominos and Pizza Hut are only allowed if they are the only place that delivers and you are drunk and starving after 11pm and unable to drive. I am amazed at both these because the first one is public. I might of written in my new blog post that 80%… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@HowieSPM Oh I like Papa John’s pizza waaaaaay more than Domino’s. And Pizza Hut doesn’t deliver in the city. So that’s what we order the three times a year we eat pizza.

HowieSPM
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich sigh. maybe we should revisit the pizza thing and switch to say sushi?

Want to know what really sucked today. I was planning another Dr Seuss comment and was so flabbergasted at these two things I was left utterly Seuss-less!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@HowieSPM HAHAHAH! I made you Seuss-less!

jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem
4 years 5 months ago

@HowieSPM Sir, I could not agree more with you about your stance on pizza. As a one-time, six-year resident of New Haven, CT, I take pizza extremely seriously. Should you ever make your way to the third smallest state in the country, please meet me in New Haven for Sally’s Pizza, and we will bond while our minds are blown by the most perfect pizza in the world.

richardhwells
richardhwells
4 years 5 months ago

@annebuchanan @JustinKownacki Theorem: it used to take effort to display your ignorance to the world, but with the internet it’s easy.

jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem
4 years 5 months ago

Okay, the Papa Johns thing – I’ve had enough waitress friends that I understand the urge to do this, but of course not actually doing it.

The BBQ story was much, much more painful to me. I think that place could also use some cultural competence training!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@jennwhinnem I think you have them backwards. Having been a server, I know there is an urge to talk about how stupid your customers are, but you don’t actually do it. But the Papa John’s thing is what’s disturbing. It’s racist and anti-American.

jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem
4 years 5 months ago

OOPS @ginidietrich you’re right, I do. #eggonmyface.com

jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich Now that I’ve confessed – I’m in a fellowship right now to end health disparities for people of color. Most of my fellow fellows are people of color. This just makes me hurt for them.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@jennwhinnem That’s a lot of fellowing.

michaelocc
michaelocc
4 years 5 months ago
So here we see how the great leveller that is social media is actually, once again, an uneven seesaw (and that’s a good thing). Now that *anyone* can express an instant, unfiltered opinion online, anyone can be instantly revealed in all their stupid, rude, bigoted and insulting glory. Sometimes, it’s the customers behaving badly (but they often get away with it). It’s infinitely worse when it’s the vendor. Brand marketers have had to get used to the fact that customers have loud, powerful voices that can carry great distances; amplified and re-echoed by the social mediavines. Alas, some brand marketers… Read more »
jenzings
jenzings
4 years 5 months ago
While I’m not going to defend trash-talking, I will relay some personal experience. I used to work at a retail location of a fairly high-end national chain. The vast majority of customers were a delight to work with. But there were some who treated the employees like DIRT. I mean jaw-droppingly bad, condescending, etc. When you have customers driving store employees to near-tears, it’s fully understandable that some of them are going to want to blow off some steam. The very reason that I ended up in the customer service role that I had was that I could handle the… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@jenzings@michaelocc It’s human nature to complain about people and how they treat us. After all, no one treats us as well as we do ourselves. What’s really awful to me is the OWNER posted this at Boners BBQ. I don’t get it. I get being upset by the no tip and maybe some rude behavior. But finding her photo and posting it to your own FB wall? Insensitive doesn’t begin to explain it.

michaelocc
michaelocc
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich@jenzings indeed. It’s more than just insensitive, it’s deliberately and consciously insensitive squared. On a bun.

michaelocc
michaelocc
4 years 5 months ago

@jenzings@michaelocc That’s fair. I couldn’t truthfully claim to be innocent in this regard either. We’re all human and some customers (just like some customer service people) are just plain sodding rude.

jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem
4 years 5 months ago

@jenzings@michaelocc You know what I learned this week at my local supermarket? When customers are mad at the cashiers, THEY THROW FOOD AT THEM. Three cashiers then proceeded to share which items of food hurt the most.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@jennwhinnem WHAT?!?! Have you ever thrown food at anyone in your entire life??

anandp29
4 years 5 months ago

It’s just takes common sense to know not to post something like that on a public page. Do they know who is in charge of the social media at Boners BBQ?

KenMueller
4 years 5 months ago

@anandp29 the owner…

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@KenMueller@anandp29 Yeah…unfortunately it was the owner who posted this.

anandp29
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich@KenMueller It’s amazing how some people do not understand the negatives behind taking such actions. I guess no press is bad press in their eyes.

ShellyKramer
ShellyKramer
4 years 5 months ago

Wow. What kind of bonehead would pull that move? I understand servers being angry about not being left a tip (yet another reason I’m not a fan of restaurants doing daily deals) but how hateful. Great points, Gini and yes – this is absolutely an HR issue, a corporate culture issue and something that will require ongoing training to address – on a regular basis.

(still shaking head).

Shelly

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@ShellyKramer Unfortunately that bonehead is the owner. Crazy, huh?

jasonkonopinski
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich@ShellyKramer My immediate thoughts about Boner’s BBQ are if you, as an owner, take this kind of tact when discussing less-than-stellar custom interactions, then you shouldn’t be in business. Period.

coffeewithjulie
coffeewithjulie
4 years 5 months ago

@ShellyKramer I read a post on this early this morning and the crazy part is that the customer actually DID tip! Apparently, the owner was retaliating over a negative Yelp review. Insanity. Here is the post (via @unmarketing): http://www.unmarketing.com/2012/01/10/worst-use-of-social-media-of-2012-boners-bbq/

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@coffeewithjulie@ShellyKramer I read the Yelp review. It wasn’t that bad. At all.

trackback
4 years 5 months ago

[…] Boners BBQ, Papa John's Need Crisis Coaching | Spin Sucks Boners BBQ and Papa John's need crisis coaching after employees run amok and it's all caught on the social networks, spreading more quickly than they expected. […]

TheJackB
4 years 5 months ago

I can’t help but wonder if the influence of “I deserve as much as the next guy” plays into some of this at all. I listen to some people talk about what they deserve but rarely do I hear about how hard they are going to work to get it.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@TheJackB That whole overnight success thing that doesn’t happen to anyone yet we call want to achieve it.

ryancox
ryancox
4 years 5 months ago
Wow. The BBQ one just baffles me. Talk about shooting yourself in your own foot (it was the owner). And the Papa Johns one is one of those “bound to happen” when you franchise. (or have that many restaurants). With the former being a NEVER do, the latter is a “set yourself up to best prevent” scenario. Papa Johns was on it pretty hard. @ShellyKramer I shared your post with some additional comments, twice on Twitter yesterday. And I was one of the handful of people that Papa Johns @ replied directly. It was one of 4-5 template tweets they… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@ryancox Oh I’ll remember this…but that’s because I have the mind of an elephant and I’ll also use the examples when I speak. So, during the next two years, I’ll tell this story more than 100 times. 🙂

TheJackB
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich Poor elephant must be terribly upset about losing his mind.

Leon
Leon
4 years 5 months ago
G’Day Gini, Thanks for posting this. Bloody hell! I know some people are stupid;” how stupid still surprises me. But let’s get one thing clear. This is a management problem. These sort of things don’t occur in well- managed businesses. I’m not sure precisely what the problem is, but dismissing the employees concerned wont fix it. Over 25 years ago two of my children, while still at school, did a lot of part-time work at the local Maccas. My daughter although only a part-timer, was elevated to Crew Trainer. My son got into trouble when he and a management trainee… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@Leon Well said, sir! It definitely is a management problem made worse by the bullhorn of social media.

justinthesouth
4 years 5 months ago
The early part of my career was in the service industry – I even ventured into hospitality management for a few years. It seemed like a good fit until I saw how people treated and talked down to me and my staff. No matter our role or position our guests often felt they were entitled to treat the staff as beneath them. With that experience, this whole situation reeks of poor management and a void of decency. The situation here is nothing new – it’s been happening for years. The only difference now is that social media has magnified everything.… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@justinthesouth LOL!!! What?! Really? You don’t think he woke up and said, “Today I’m going to be a massive tool”?? You just made me so sad.

justinthesouth
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich This guy. No. Other. Yes. I’ve worked for a few who woke up thinking just that.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@justinthesouth I think I’m going to do that tomorrow.

justinthesouth
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich Let me know how that works out for you.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@justinthesouth I’ll be sure and be a tool to you so you know.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@skypulsemedia #ohyestheydid

skypulsemedia
skypulsemedia
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich fyi @ShellyKramer and I decided you don’t tweet enough.

ShellyKramer
ShellyKramer
4 years 5 months ago

@skypulsemedia @ginidietrich lol!!

skypulsemedia
skypulsemedia
4 years 5 months ago

@ShellyKramer I think we need to put @ginidietrich on a twitter schedule and she should sign up for your $49 tweet to win webinar shelly

ShellyKramer
ShellyKramer
4 years 5 months ago

Now that … that $49 tweet-to-win webinar … that is funny @skypulsemedia very funny. cc @ginidietrich

skypulsemedia
skypulsemedia
4 years 5 months ago

@ShellyKramer @ginidietrich tweet-to-win comes in an e-book for $7.99 on kindle. Order now + get 6 Klout pts free! But wait that is not all!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@skypulsemedia @ShellyKramer What?! Clearly you jest.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@razoo Faceplam is right. Too bad I couldn’t get that emoticon in the blog post

razoo
razoo
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich I got you covered. Check your blog post. 🙂

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@razoo That made me LOL

razoo
razoo
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich Lol, memes like that will never die. So applicable to many situations 😉

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@kbloemendaal Fun little customer service issues today, huh?

kbloemendaal
kbloemendaal
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich not sure they think it was so fun LOL but I enjoyed it….

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@dio_marketing Seriously

byronfernandez
byronfernandez
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich Um, WTF?!? First of all, what kind of name is Boners BBQ?!? Second, their behavior was absolutely appalling and unconscionable

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@byronfernandez I have NO idea why you would name your business that. None at all.

KevinVandever
KevinVandever
4 years 5 months ago

You’re right! Your message is needed because stupidity, incivility, and douche canoes abound!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@KevinVandever I think this is an example of a douchehammer (which is way worse than a douchecanoe).

ifdyperez
ifdyperez
4 years 5 months ago

Double facepalm:

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@ifdyperez HAHAHAHAHAH! I have to bookmark that so I can use it!

belllindsay
belllindsay
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich@ifdyperez Yep. Me too. STOLEN! hahahaha

coffeewithjulie
coffeewithjulie
4 years 5 months ago

While both are just plain baffling in their lack of common courtesy to fellow human beings, the BBQ fiasco was initiated and kept alive by the owner (management) while the Papa John’s was a case of employee culture/training. I am currently in the process of writing a social media guide for employees at a small company and in reviewing the helpful link you shared, my favorite is the reminder to “think about your mom, CNN, and your employer — would you want them to read what you wrote?”

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@coffeewithjulie It astounds me the owner would do this. Astounds. Me.

Mark_Harai
4 years 5 months ago
Hey Gini – the employees are not to blame, ownership is. Culture, attitude, how customers are treated – both the good ones and the meat heads, are direct result of how your employees are trained and groomed to deal with customers. My suggestions in no particular order: 1.) Close the doors – this really is just so stupid, there really is no excuse. 2.) Follow through with your recommendations. 3.) Close the doors – this really is just so stupid, there really is no excuse. 4.) Reinvent the culture. 5.) Close the doors – this really is just so stupid,… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@Mark_Harai So do you think they should close the doors?

Mark_Harai
4 years 5 months ago
@ginidietrich@Mark_Harai The shocking thing is the owner was behind this. I’m sure he’s probably learning a few things right about now. I do believe in second chances. Business ownership comes with responsibility and those who rise to the occasion and make the community’s they serve better usually have a long and prosperous lifespan. Those who don’t usually struggle or fail. After a while, your reputation precedes you in the local marketplace and that can be good or bad for business owners, depending upon if their a douche bag, or someone who cares. This attitude doesn’t belong in business – he… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@Mark_Harai He issued an apology. I think he’s sincere. I’m pretty sure he’ll never do this again.

mthompson55
mthompson55
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich@Mark_Harai See Scott Stratton’s post. He actually started liking posts that upheld the other POV after his apology.

PattiRoseKnight
PattiRoseKnight
4 years 5 months ago

most important thing in this post is – In the public’s eye, and through social media, the customer is always right.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@PattiRoseKnight Even when the customer isn’t right, the customer is right.

jenzings
jenzings
4 years 5 months ago

And when the customer is well and truly wrong, there are ways to manage the situation. Again, having worked retail I can give you some examples of outrageous customer demands (one wanted us to pay to repaint her bathroom because her towels kept discoloring). But we were always tactful and courteous when dealing with some of the more extreme demands. And we never told them they were wrong. We just suggested possible alternatives. @ginidietrich @PattiRoseKnight

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@jenzings LOL!! That makes my day. She seriously wanted you to repaint her bathroom?! Wow.

jenzings
jenzings
4 years 5 months ago

Yes ma’am. She had purchased the paint to match the towels. Someone in the family was using a cleaner of some sort that was discoloring the towels. We replaced the towels–full sets–several times before recommending perhaps switching to white, which wouldn’t be affected by the cleaner. She then said she wanted us to pay to repaint the bathroom because it wasn’t the “aesthetic” she was looking for to have the walls and towels different colors. @ginidietrich

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@jenzings Un-freaking-believable.

PattiRoseKnight
PattiRoseKnight
4 years 5 months ago

I have worked in Public Relations for 30+ years and the one thing I was taught over and over and over is: The client (or customer) is ALWAYS right.

ifdyperez
ifdyperez
4 years 5 months ago

@rachaelseda hey girly, happy new year!

rachaelseda
rachaelseda
4 years 5 months ago

@ifdyperez Hey you too missy! Will you be at @WhatsNextDC would love to see you! If not, lets plan something!

ifdyperez
ifdyperez
4 years 5 months ago

@rachaelseda call me lame, but I hadn’t heard about @WhatsNextDC (sorry dudes). looks good though!

rachaelseda
rachaelseda
4 years 5 months ago

@ifdyperez It’s ok I just heard of it too! Well shall we plan a time to catch up over a delicious beverage?!

ifdyperez
ifdyperez
4 years 5 months ago

@rachaelseda yesh! cuando? donde?

WhatsNextDC
WhatsNextDC
4 years 5 months ago

@ifdyperez That’s okay! It’s never too late to sign up. Learn more about #WhatsNextDC: http://t.co/niabv4Mv (Thanks, @rachaelseda!)

Hajra
4 years 5 months ago
What surprises me is that such people still exist; who actually do it and thanks to social media and (God also!) that people who are “victimized” now have a voice. The core issue is lack of courtesy to fellow human beings. And now this may be totally off track, but there’s a lil story I would like to share. I was travelling once and a fellow passenger, on learning that I was a Muslim, remarked “Hmm… will you blow up our plane?” It was offensive but not as much when the air hostess joined in and smirked and said “Oh,… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@Hajra What the heck is wrong with people? Seriously. When do we get so bigoted in our lives? We don’t start out that way.

MSchechter
MSchechter
4 years 5 months ago
I simultaneously get the need for this kind of common sense training and lament the universe for it. The fact that we live in a time where, “don’t use derogatory terms in our system” needs to be trained is just depressing. As for the BBQ situation, much of my day is spent with our customers. Most of those exchanges are pleasant, some are difficult and others outright frustrating. That said, my job is to keep my crap together even when someone is totally doing wrong by us. One of our customers started a thread a few days ago saying Disappointed… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@MSchechter I’m not a believer in firing people over mistakes like this unless they’re biggies like, you know, illegal things or they keep happening over and over again. Like the kid who was fired from the Chrysler social media firm when he accidentally typed the F word on the Chrysler Twitter account. Reprimanded? In a big way? Fired? No. We all make mistakes. It’s in how we deal with them that is important.

belllindsay
belllindsay
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich@MSchechter God, I remember that one. Little did I know at the time that they were a client of the company I was working for. Heh. Not only did *he* get canned, but Chrysler dumped the entire agency! Overreact much!!?? Then you had the tact and class (and compassion) of the American Red Cross using humour to deal with the unfortunate “drinking” accidental tweet.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@belllindsay@MSchechter And they both happened about the same time. Great case study on different cultures.

belllindsay
belllindsay
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich@MSchechter Very true Gini, hadn’t thought of it that way. Dare I say it, almost “male-vs-female”…? Cars/compassion

MSchechter
MSchechter
4 years 5 months ago

@belllindsay @ginidietrich even these were different. Red Cross was a post about getting drunk. Chrysler was an instance of someone talking disparagingly about the core customer. I agree they may have overreacted, but it’s hard to look at those as the same.

belllindsay
belllindsay
4 years 5 months ago

@MSchechter@ginidietrich Actually (as my 12 year old would say to me – lol!) – I would debate that point Mike – and again – it’s the “Oh, lighten up” aspect I’m talking about – he tweeted about there being bad drivers in “Motor City” — I suppose you could say he upset all the people who might potentially buy a Chrysler one day, but I think it’s a stretch. Or maybe I’m just an ol’ softy. 😉

MSchechter
MSchechter
4 years 5 months ago
@ginidietrich You’re right, and what I likely meant was potential firing offense (depending on how the employee handles the situation). That said (and maybe I’m drawing a line that I have no business drawing), I cant help but feel like there is a big difference between those situations. One was a very general statement that was not meant to be posted on the brands page (even though the Chrysler employee should understand the implications of that even on his personal account) the others were more than hurtful or inappropriate, they were malicious. You should certainly take the time to train… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@MSchechter I think the Papa John’s employee should be fired. It’s racist and inhumane. The Boners guy can’t be fired because he owns the joint. I guess we’ll see how people react to his apology. But, all-in-all, if you make a mistake in social media, it’s not always a fireable offense.

KenMueller
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich@MSchechter I’ll go a step further. I’m betting the Boners dude (wow, i feel dirty just saying that) is relishing this. He’s looking for the “spin”. Look at his website and the slogan. This is his M.O. Sadly, there are those who believe this is smart publicity, and he’ll get his hardcore fans to back him, and they will! Will he lose customers? yes, but he’ll probably gain some. I’d love to see him go out of business, but I bet if you look back, this wasn’t the first stupid thing he did, and it won’t be the last.

MSchechter
MSchechter
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich Oh, agree there and didn’t realize the owner was the poster in this case. I just think these two are specifically malicious.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@kbkcomm Wow is right!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@John_Trader1 No, no John. It’s 1955. It’s OK.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago
This is from girlygrizzly : Gini, My blood was boiling as well when I opened Scott Stratten’s post this morning. (That is how I received it… This is what I said to him and anyone listening… “THIS is the type of BS that in the past would make me incredibly grateful to be so blessed to live out of reach and touch of dregs. Now? That thought just isn’t true anymore. As you have shown, as is shown every single day with the power we have right here at our fingertips… there is no place to hide anymore. If you… Read more »
girlygrizzly
girlygrizzly
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich Ahh, you’re so cool…

DTCchicago
DTCchicago
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich We wont have to be as prepared, b/c we’ll never employ someone that bone(r)headed for our social http://t.co/AVp2YFLw

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@DTCchicago I hope not!

rwohlner
rwohlner
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich good post, cold day in hell b4 I patronize Papa Johns again

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@rwohlner They did a nice job of handling it. You know the franchisee has to be mortified.

rwohlner
rwohlner
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich true but none the less they will never get a dime of my money. My wife is Asian, their pizza would leave a “bad taste”

oulettewdrth5
oulettewdrth5
4 years 5 months ago
fortunatosbbq0
fortunatosbbq0
4 years 5 months ago

@ginidietrich http://t.co/ySE4ZbxF

Tinu
4 years 5 months ago

I heard about Papa Johns. Can’t even believe the Boners BBQ one even though I’m looking directly at it. Wow.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 5 months ago

@Tinu It makes me angry that the owner went to find her FB photo and then posted it. Jerk.

kristopherwong
kristopherwong
4 years 5 months ago

@evanhamilton Thanks! WOW is all I can say! That is a bit Racy (pun intended) and I would have freaked out. Maybe #FreePizza4Life?

trackback

[…] is not a PR or social media crisis. It is a customer service crisis. But, like we talked about with Papa John’s and Boners BBQ yesterday, it was turned into a PR crisis when the customer posted the video on YouTube (which got five […]

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