Things that make you go poo. Not “hmmm”.
I’ll never forget it – that gurgle in your stomach that’s just a little bit off, signaling something bad is on the way. And that bead of sweat that forms on your forehead, partly because you’re about to come down with something and partly because you’re begging your body – “NOT HERE PLEASE!”
I was sitting in row 2 of business class on a flight from Barcelona to Houston (and then Houston to Tampa) when that all-to-familiar feeling hit me last August.
It turns out, I was about to experience the worst 8 days of my life because I, friends, had picked up a nasty little food borne bacteria called Campylobacter [pronounced kamp-pil-o-back-tur] from a restaurant in Barcelona.
All I can say is…don’t get it. EVER! So as long as your restaurant, or the restaurant you’re in handles and properly cooks meat, especially chicken, this nasty bacteria can be avoided.
You might be wondering what any of this has to do with Facebook right?
Well I thought it would be an interesting exercise to check out the Facebook pages of some of the restaurants reported closed on one of the numerous ‘dirty dining’ reports that each of the local news outlets seem to produce to see if we could find any connection to the way these folks handle their social media (Facebook) and the public’s reaction to violations.
I didn’t have to dig too deep to learn something right away. Whether you like Facebook or not, you need to have an active page for your restaurant. Because if you don’t, the consumers will do it for you…and if they’re controlling it, it may not be so pretty.
Take for example the restaurant at the Inverrary Resort. It was closed for 5 violations including roaches. On closer inspection, a much better story unfolds and it starts with Facebook.
When i searched for the resort/restaurant, the first Facebook page I found on ‘the graph’ was this. Yep, that’s right…either some pissed off customer, or past employee, or just plain old concerned citizen has started a page that talks about the rodent problem At Inverrary Resort.
But this page dates all the way back to 2011. Now it could be argued that since they’re still in business, this has no effect on the restaurant and resort. But one look at Yelp and you can see that the Inverrary Resort is operating on borrowed time. That bill is going to come due with a vengeance.
Get this though: there was another establishment listed in Boca with 6 violations – 1 more than Inverrary. But you take a look at their Facebook with 6,400+ likes, and 15,000 check-ins and you can see that people are taking their violations in stride.
“Things like this happen” right? Yes, they do. But when a restaurant takes the time to communicate with their customers…especially on Facebook, incidents like this for them seem like they at times, can be worked through amicably.
Plenty of restaurants have been forever marked by poor Facebook etiquette like Chik-Fil-A or the worst Facebook meltdown in history – Amy’s Baking Company.
What every restaurant needs to know about Facebook
Facebook cannot be ignored by restaurants. Eating out is a social action by nature, so it stands to reason that social media fits nicely into this activity. With Facebook being the 800 pound gorilla in the room of all things social media, it is just a matter of time before your customer will take over the reins of your social media persona if you won’t.
Now I could go on about how hard it is for restaurants to gain organic audience these days, and that’s very true. You almost have to ‘pay to play’ to get any eyeballs on Facebook FOR YOUR CONTENT.
But here’s the thing…if you’re not playing nice with your customers now on Facebook…when something negative happens related to your restaurant – AND IT WILL…you won’t remotely like the firestorm created by the rapidly-gained detractors that you will surely acquire.
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