Want to go viral on social media? The Bombay Bicycle Club restaurant in Adelaide shows you how it’s done. But please don’t try this in your own business.
The restaurant created a faux menu showing what prices its menu items would be if they were multiplied 2.75 times. Why, you ask? Because of the penalty rates which the restaurant pays its staff on public holidays.
“We will have to pay our staff 2.75 times the base rate for public holidays. This is how the prices on our bar menu would look using that formula”, the sign read.
All well and good. You can imagine the restaurant’s patrons glancing at the sign as they walked past it. Unfortunately, the restaurant posted an image of the sign on its Facebook page. As you would, right? (Snark.)
The image went viral. Lots of people had opinions, and they posted them on Facebook and Twitter. They also punished the restaurant with one-star reviews.
Then this post appeared on the restaurant’s Facebook page:
The BBC ownership would like to apologize for our sign and Facebook post. We regret the wording. There was no intention to offend anyone.
Overly clever PR? No
When I first heard this story, I thought that a restaurant patron had snapped a photo of the faux menu and uploaded it to Facebook. Not so. Apparently the restaurant posted the image. I couldn’t find it, they must have deleted it.
Then I wondered whether this was a clever PR trick. Upload a photo, get lots of comments and links. That though died when the Facebook timeline reveals that the restaurant tried to justify its attitude on penalty rates… on Facebook.
Social media can be savage; I read some of the Facebook and Twitter responses. Harsh punishment. Not the image the restaurant wants to show.