A recent failed and highly publicised appearance on a reality television show have left two small business owners at the centre of a social media storm. After a controversial appearance on the hit U.S show Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, starring chef Gordon Ramsay, the proprietors of ‘Amy’s Baking Company’ came under fire via the company’s Facebook, resulting in a very public lesson of the wrong way to use social media.
“Disgruntled viewers took to Reddit and Yelp to vent about the couple”
When restaurant owners Amy and Samy Bouzaglo appeared on the hit U.S show Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, public reception of the couple and their establishment was far from positive. Disgruntled viewers took to social forums Reddit and Yelp to vent about the couple, which lead to an epic and extremely public Facebook meltdown from the pair via the businesses profile page.
In response to the negative online comments, the couple began ranting online via the restaurant’s Facebook page. They directly insulted commenters, using profane and offensive language, indirectly encouraging other commenters to continue the online argument as the situation escalated. The comments from Amy and Samy become more and more extreme, one status from them encouraging commenters to come to the restaurant to see out the conflict face to face. Eventually, after hours of back and forth arguments with commenters, the couple posted a status claiming that their social sites had been hacked and that, bizarrely, the FBI were looking into the case!
“Poor management of the situation has created a media storm that may damage this business indefinitely”
Many are now arguing that this strange incident raises important questions about cyber bullying, or ‘trolling’. Were the commenters trying to be constructive? Or were they simply trying to damage a small business for entertainment? Either way, it is fair to say that the initial bad press from the TV appearance could have been downplayed and rectified, however the poor management of the situation has created a media storm that may damage Amy’s Baking Company indefinitely.
The couple have now released a statement, again via the restaurant’s Facebook page, claiming that they are staging a ‘grand re-opening’ of the restaurant and are welcoming new patrons. The comments on the post indicate that they won’t be drawing in new business with this ‘re-opening’ but rather just creating more unwanted, negative media attention.
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