Woman Cursed Out By Barbecue Restaurant, She Says, For Bad Yelp Review
More and more servers are outing customers who skip on their their tips. A Brooklyn delivery man has been uploading tales of bad tippers to his blog 15 Percent. Other slighted waitstaff have been venting their frustration on Lousy Tippers and Stained Apron. But one barbecue joint in Atlanta has gone further, publicly shaming one customer on Twitter, and posting her photo on Facebook, accompanied by some strong language.
The woman, "Stephanie S." allegedly didn't leave her waitress a tip on a $40 tab at Boners BBQ. The restaurant Tweeted "NOT WANTED!" with a link to its Facebook page, where they had posted the woman's photo, along with a warning to other eateries: "If you see this women [sic] in your restaurant tell her to go out side and play hide an go f*** yourself! Yelp that b****."
Andrew Capron, one of the restaurant's current owners, posted below the photo: "forgot to mention the b***** cleaned her plate ... every last drop!" and "Yeah, beauty eh?"
"Put a Little South in Your Mouth," is the restaurant's slogan. But perhaps it needs to wash that mouth out with soap. Someone posted the story to Reddit, and a woman claiming to be the "b*****" in question chimed in, claiming that she did indeed leave a tip, dropping a $10-off Scoutmob coupon, along with two twenties. That's a $7.20 tip on a $32.80 (with tax) bill.
Turns out, "Stephanie S." had written a lukewarm review of Boners BBQ on Jan. 8. She called the deep fried collard greens "greasy and limp," the mac and cheese "ok," the chicken "dry," the pulled pork "bland," and the peach cobbler "bitter/sour." But it was mostly thoughtful and constructive criticism, with positive reviews of the Brunswick stew and baked beans, and an ultimate rating of two stars.
People smelled retaliation. A handful of Yelp reviewers started giving the restaurant one-star reviews, calling it "unprofessional," "disgusting," and lacking in "class." Tweeters blasted the joint, and unmarketing.com accused it of "worst use of social media of 2012."
Boners BBQ has since taken down the strongly-worded post, but not before people had screen captured it. The restaurant has apologized, writing on Facebook and Twitter that it "would like to apologize for any inappropriateness on our part," and "Trying to stir up the pot, we lost the lid and spilled the beans...."
But some weren't impressed by that response. "I've heard 12-year-old girls mea culpa with more balls," wrote Plucky Charms on Facebook. "You don't get to own your success unless you own your failure."
There's a lesson to be gleaned from this. While social media can be used to vent over bad tippers, if you outright cyber-bully them, you risk turning off your clientele.
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.
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