Good customer service can make or break a business. But what if you make a point of treating your customers poorly? What if that is what differentiates you from your competitors? Can it really work?
I’m sure you’ve seen the businesses that pride themselves in their attitude. You may have even seen signs promoting restaurants and bars with tag lines like, “Meanest bartenders in the state!” or “Angry Waitresses” etc.
But there is a difference between having a theme and treating your customers poorly.
Those places, if they are successful, practice good customer service while giving their customers the experience they expect. That’s far different than being truly nasty and riding the wave of infamy while people slow down to look at the wreck that is your business.
Recently a certain bistro in Scottsdale, Arizona has gotten a lot of publicity. First, they were on a well-known restaurant coaching show in which they almost got into a physical altercation with customers and, in the end, the host of the show walked out because he decided he couldn’t help them. Even TV stars know you can’t help those who don’t want to help themselves.
If it had ended there, this story would’ve received very minor attention but, of course it didn’t stop there.
On the heels of their TV appearance, the owners of this restaurant also had a significant social media meltdown that you might have heard about. They shouted down critics and made it clear that they will fight anyone who gets in their way. In fact they said they were writing down the names of everyone who had criticized them so they could take legal action in the future, which prompted a number of funny responses. If you haven’t seen this social media screed, finding it shouldn’t be hard, even if we don’t mention the restaurant’s name in this piece, lest we bring the wrath of these business owners upon us.
While most businesses do their best to avoid any controversy or talk that can spin them negatively to the public, this establishment and their owners, seem to embrace it…or they’ve slipped off the deep end and don’t realize the potential damage they are doing to their business and their brand.
This is not a place that promises they will be mean to you, like in the video here. This establishment aspires to be destination dining. They believe their food is outstanding, as is their décor, service. But in reality, once the shock of their agreed upon persona has worn off, can this restaurant possibly make a long term go of it?