I’ve never had the urge to watch “Kitchen Nightmares” with Gordon Ramsey, but after seeing a flurry of articles and Facebook posts yesterday about a local restaurant that appeared on the show, I had to check out the episode for myself on YouTube.
All I can say is a big, big “WOW!”
The show featured Amy’s Baking Company which is just down the street from where I live. On this episode, Gordon Ramsey confronts the owners Amy and Sam Bouzaglo about serving frozen raviolis, under-baked pizza, and store bought desserts. Apparently, they also had a problem with keeping waiters and didn’t think twice about grabbing from their tips. There are a lot of bleeped out words spouting out of the mouth of Amy, and you can just see the tension brewing on the face of Gordon Ramsey when he’s attempting to give them advice on how to make improvements. He eventually had enough of the dynamic duo and threw in the dish towel without ever being to help them turn around their business. What a surprise!
I’ve never eaten at Amy’s Baking Company, so I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon and talk about their food. Rather, my fascination is with what they did after the show aired. Comments from viewers of the show naturally started rolling in on Yelp and other review sites along with on Facebook. Yes, there were lots of not so nice things being written. But, instead of apologizing for their mistakes or even just staying quiet, they came out swinging. Let’s just say that I wouldn’t want to meet up with these two in a dark alley. They’re tough (albeit store bought) cookies.
And guess what? Thanks to their story going viral, more and more people started getting wind of their craziness. And, their online engagement has gone through the roof. One of my fellow writers asked quite poignantly if perhaps they are marketing geniuses. That’s a very interesting question.
Is it the goal of businesses to generate positive feedback online, or is it more important to simply get exposure? It really is a question of what is more valuable – quality or quantity. I don’t have a good answer to this one.
I wonder if customers will be lining up to eat lunch at this place just to get a glimpse of Amy spouting out f-words at her staff. I know that the curious side of me would pay a couple of dollars to grab a lemonade over there to check out the scene.
Perhaps, they will be laughing all the way to the bank thanks to their embarrassing behavior. And, I bet there is a producer somewhere thinking that this restaurant could be a reality show in itself. Or, maybe Amy could be a foul-mouthed TV personality with a cooking show where she defrosts raviolis and shouts out obscenities at her guests. At the very least, they’ll see an uptick in their business for a while until people move onto the next spectacle.
A Particularly Perfect Song of the Day: Virtual Insanity, Jamiroquoi