The threat of a tweet

Twitter and eggs

All was going to do was tweet “Ewww!” with a photo. Nothing more needed to be said. You probably would have looked and seen that little ugly hair on my plate.

I had no intention of naming the neighborhood eatery where we were having our weekend brunch. And then, just as I was snapping the photo and my husband said “Don’t tweet it! You don’t have to tweet everything, you know,” or something to that effect, I was caught smartphone-handed by the restaurant manager. I had just snapped a pic and he seemed to have heard every word except for the “I had no intention…” part.

So, with the sweat beading down his brow, he apologized profusely, offered to make me a new plate and said he would remove the charge from the bill. I declined on his offer for a replacement – I had already eaten half my meal and I was full. Besides, I had lost my appetite. Wouldn’t you?

The poor guy was so nervous. He kept reassuring me that hair on plates wasn’t a regular occurrence. I could see the threat of a tweet was adding a whole other layer to sweating bullets. I was empathetic, let him know I understood and seemed quite nonchalant about the incident.

When we were done our meal, he returned with the bill, another apology and four $5-off gift certificates for our next visit. I will go back and I won’t share the name of the restaurant.

I’m not so sure the restaurant manager would have been as nervous if I didn’t have a smartphone or discuss Twitter in his presence. I couldn’t help but think about the negative impact of Twitter (and other social media channels in general) in customer service. Sure I would have told some friends I found a hair in my eggs at restaurant X but I wouldn’t have had a photo, told them as quickly or seen it spread to the extent it could have today. I’m not convinced he would have given us $20 in gift certificates either, are you?
Twitter bird icon credit: Bruno Maia, IconTexto

Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site