Restaurant folk are a hardworking, creative and driven people. But just as in any line of work, problems are bound to arise eventually in the daily grind. Sure, there are common mistakes that everyone can make – hiring the wrong people, disorganization in the kitchen, a lack of training and education for your servers – but some restaurants can blow it out in epic proportions. So what are the most jaw-dropping foibles from the last year? Let’s count them down…
Jen Agg’s Twitter Rants
The Globe and Mail printed a story in April all about Jen Agg, the owner of the Black Hoof. It wasn’t very complimentary, however, as the article discussed Agg’s frequent venting about customers on the restaurant’s official Twitter page – an account the offending diners themselves could easily see. The worst tweet by Agg? “Dear (almost) everyone in here right now. Please, please stop being such a douche.” Agg stands by her approach, and The Black Hoof’s popularity doesn’t seem to be fading. She’s part of a small movement of restaurateurs striking back at guests who take advantage of their business, like outing the names of those who didn’t show up for their reservations.
Amy’s Baking Company Melts Down After Ramsay
If you think Agg is a grouch, she’s a kitten compared to the couple who appeared on a recent episode of Kitchen Nightmares. The Arizona restaurant was so embarrassing, what with the owners (Amy and Samy Bouzaglo) screaming at and threatening customers, that Gordon Ramsay quit on them and refused to help. Now with national attention, Amy’s Baking Company’s social media sites have become a target for those both disgusted and amused by what they’d seen on the show. Turns out these two don’t have the ability to behave in cyberspace, either. This post (which has recently been removed) on their official Facebook page, among many similar to it, tells you all you need to know: “I AM NOT STUPID ALL OF YOU ARE. YOU JUST DO NOT KNOW GOOD FOOD. IT IS NOT UNCOMMON TO RESELL THINGS WALMART DOES NOT MAKE THEIR ELECTRONICS OR TOYS SO LAY OFF!!!!” Poetic, right? (Watch the full Kitchen Nightmares episode here.
Guy Fieri’s Lacklustre Times Square Performance
Success can often leave you most vulnerable to criticism. Guy Fieri, well-known as host of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network, was probably expecting but a few people not to like his 500-seat restaurant – Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar – that opened in Times Square towards the end of last year. But he would have had no idea the effect of the hilarious slam review written by Pete Wells for the New York Times that spread like wildfire all over the internet. The entire article was two pages worth of questions from Wells for Fieri, asking if he’d dined at his own restaurant. Perhaps the best excerpt: “Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the menu, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex? When you saw the burger described as ‘Guy’s Pat LaFrieda custom blend, all-natural Creekstone Farm Black Angus beef patty, LTOP (lettuce, tomato, onion + pickle), SMC (super-melty-cheese) and a slathering of Donkey Sauce on garlic-buttered brioche,’ did your mind touch the void for a minute?” Read the whole article here.
Burger King’s Hacked Twitter Account
Security is important for a business, and not just within the actual stores. As Burger King found out in February, they need to take their social media security much more seriously. Hackers broke into their Twitter account and kept control of it for hours, changing the account to look like the McDonald’s Twitter page and spewing out nonsense tweets like, “if I catch you at a wendys, we’re fightin!” It was an embarrassing scene for the company, but all was not lost; it gained them so many followers that in the following week several other companies attempted “fake hacks” just for the attention.
Don’t Eat the Lion King
In May, two restaurants in the US, Taco Fusion in Florida and Mokutanya in California, caused public outrage by offering lion meat tacos and skewers on their menus. A business should always strive to give their customers what they want, sure, but we don’t think lion meat is a sought after delicacy. The backlash was so strong that both restaurants were forced to take the items off their menus. Better to get creative in the kitchen with rare veggies than rare animals…