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Facebook War Between Maple & Motor Customer and Owner: Right or Wrong?

Yesterday, a donnybrook broke out on Facebook when a customer, Michael Moran, called Maple and Motor and requested to place his order on the phone so that it would be ready when he got there. The woman who answered the phone told Moran that was against their policy. They take to-go orders, but not call-in orders to be eaten in the restaurant. Especially when there is a line of customers waiting to order. According to owner Jack Perkins, who was not at the restaurant, his M&M employee texted him and said Moran and a friend of Moran’s, Star Michaels, called four times to complain. Michaels showed up with a camera and took video of her complaint and posted it on her Facebook page (it had been taken down).

Then it got ugly. Moran wrote on Facebook: “Never eat at Maple Motor burger!! They are completely bigoted and against gay people. I would never post something like this if it was not true. Not only is the customer service terrible they make fun of gay people in their own establishment.” That, my friends, is a serious accusation to toss out.

Perkins called Moran who insisted that the customer is always right. Perkins explained the rules of his restaurant. “You don’t call a restaurant with a line out the door and ask to be put ahead of those people,” Perkins says. “I don’t do that for anybody. I don’t have to explain why, it’s just the rule. Plus, he threatened to ruin my business and called me anti-gay. How do I know a person is gay by answering the phone.” Eventually, Perkins posted a link to Moran’s Facebook page on the Maple & Motor site and said “This guy is gonna put me out of business because we won’t take his dine-in order over the phone. Come soon before we’re gone.”

Loooong story, short. Moran went on to write a lengthy post about bigotry and the anti-gay staff based on being refused to jump ahead of the line. At the end of his rant he writes: “No business has the right to then post a picture of that customer and berate them on social media. I am completely flabbergasted by this entire event. If the owner of this restaurant can’t take the heat, then he should get out of the kitchen!”

I’m going to ask this question in general, not specifically about Maple & Motor or Jack Perkins or Michael Moran. This happens more than you know.

So please, think hard before you answer. Should restaurant owners call out customers on social media?

78 comments on “Facebook War Between Maple & Motor Customer and Owner: Right or Wrong?

  1. This wasn’t a legitimate customer service complaint. It was malicious and outright libel intended to damage M&M. Therefore Jack had every right to defend his restaurant publically.

  2. Owners of restaurants are people before theyre biz owners. The accusation is a personal attack. M&M fought back personally too. This will not hurt their business. It’s obvious who the diva is here. #pun

  3. Simply put NO! Every business, especially the hospitality industry, is not going to please everyone and various complaints are inevitable. When a business starts boxing with a customer via social media … the business doesn’t have a chance of winning because they are in effect asking people to take sides. They are also … just as this blog is doing … inviting the topic to continue in other forums instead of dieing a quick death.

  4. I’m not sure how I see that action was against gay people… sounds like it was more against one person with a sense of entitlement, who happens to be gay….

  5. Yeah, the customer was definitely wrong here, and it’s horrible they played the gay card (same as if they played a race card, pregnant woman card, and even veteran card). We all have to wait in line, and it’s just tough that this guy couldn’t accept that. As far as how M&M handled it, they probably could have taken a higher road on social media. However I totally agree that they should defend themselves so some loser don’t make them sound anti-gay and then rile up the whole “let’s boycott them” movement. I’m gay and think this dude needed a big bitch slap and be banned from M&M for making all this drama.

  6. Yes the owner has a right. It’s HORRIBLE when someone plays THAT card just to get his or her way and it clearly wasn’t the case. It’s demeaning and a sign plain ignorance. It’s a spit in the face of those that have legitamaly been wronged in these areas.

  7. Old boy tried to screw all the people in line, sight unseen, by calling in…sounds “bi” to me.

  8. I work in the Medical District near Maple & Motor I’ve been twice, no complaints about food, but management left a bad taste in my mouth on two occasions. I was waiting with work friends in the long line out the door when the owner spotted 2 people behind us that he knew and he let cut the line. On another occasion I was told I could not sit down to reserve the table for my friends who were waiting to order, only to see this rule disregarded about 10 minutes later when one of their friends came in. I haven’t been back since.

  9. Congratulations, Jack. I damn near jumped on a plane to fly down and eat a great burger at M&M – just to show solidarity with you on this. I understand, but wholeheartedly disagree with, the pacifist sentiment expressed by those suggesting that you should have dealt with this in a meek manner. Social media has enabled an entirely new class of bullies, and as is always the case with bullies, meekness doesn’t work nearly as well as kicking ass. If you had reacted any differently, I’d have wondered how you and Matt ever got to be such good friends . . .

  10. If we are to believe the customer’s Facebook post it appears that both of them behaved childishly with name-calling etc. I don’t think M&M was wrong to do this but he surely could have handled it better. I’ve eaten there a couple of times and never got what the big deal was.

    I like my day to be as pleasant as possible so rude servers, owners & customers get their just rewards and I’ll take my money to some place where they treat you nice, like Goff’s ;)

  11. amen to that! the customer is NOT always right. this is such an american idea. i agree with you, when i walk into someone’s place of business i wont pretend to own the place.

  12. Call ‘em out! The customer lost when he LIED like a big rat dog.

  13. Call ‘em out! The customer lost when he LIED like a big rat dog!

  14. This is a win for Maple and Motor. A rule is a rule. The behavior isn’t based on bigotry, in fact it’s established to provide a fair shake to everyone. This kid is a clown who needs to settle down and stop throwing thought bombs over not getting a hamburger faster than other people. Lines exist, that’s the way it goes. This feels like a tantrum.

  15. I’m glad M&M called this bozo out by name. That way, anyone who sees his lying crap reposted or reblogged will know it’s the same lying lines of crap.

  16. This is a win for Maple and Motor. The rule exists in fact to provide fair service for everyone. The kid here is an idiot for throwing a thought bomb like this. Bigotry? The rule is the opposite of that. This feels like a tantrum over a hamburger…

  17. Heck yes. Restaurants have the right to defend themselves against ridiculous customers especially if their accusations are unfounded. It’s nice to see a restaurant owner stand up for himself. Sorry but the customer is not always right.

  18. Sounds to me as though the Facebook post was linked to his Facebook post which HAPPENED to have his picture, like most do. It’s not like he went out of the way to publish the customer’s picture.

    Didn’t something similar happen at Ten Bells Tavern a while back? I tend to think that since an individual has the right to publish negative comments on social media, the business owner has a right to respond on social media. Just because they have the right to do it doesn’t make it a good idea. Responding in a nasty, unprofessional manner could be as harmful to the business as the negative commentary that inspired it.

    The business owner makes the call and incurs whatever consequences it brings upon the business.

  19. Jack’s action was not anti-gay, but it was definitely anti-bullying. We need more people like Jack to show courage in dealing with such social-network bullies, so that they learn that their intimidation tactics will not work. Way to go, Jack!

  20. The “customer” gay or not is not entitled to jump the line by trying to circumvent the house rules. Rules which the proprietor has a right to set and enforce. This is just another example of gay activists trying to use their clout of calling anyone who does not submit to them a bigot. I have dear gay and lesbian friends whom I like and respect who would never dream of trying this type of stunt. I agree with the proprietor of Maple and Motor and if that makes me a bigot, I am proud to wear that title.

  21. As always, the actual details in these situations are never fully brought to light. People feel justified to throw the first stone and end up shattering the mirror we all forget to look at from time to time. Well now you have a pile of reflections to choose from, one for every moment you make a mistake and get called out on.

  22. I have learned something in recent days; once we form an opinion of someone, it is almost impossible to change because of our innate desire to be right, a desire to look good and avoid looking bad. Recently, due to this ridiculous social media feud, I have been called an entitled nobody and several other deprecating things by people who barely know me or don’t know me at all. That being said, I don’t fault them for their opinion, as everyone is “entitled” to their own. I would ask that they temper their vitriol as I now will temper mine and seek out some understanding. I am a human being after all and it is not in my temperament to be confrontational. That being said, I do have Irish blood that occasionally boils. I allowed myself to be hooked by anger and upset over someones dismissive and rude tone of voice with me over the phone. I wasn’t actually asking to be put ahead of the line, I actually said to the young girl that they could make it as a to go and if there was a seat when I got there I would grab one or I would just take it to the car. Her response was again rude. I have been a waiter, a busser, a bartender even a dishwasher in my lifetime so I am no stranger to the industry. I still feel that denying a customer request should be handled with more tact but, I could have chosen to use more tact in my response to feeling offended. I had heard many complaints in the past from friends who were gay who claimed that the business was not very gay friendly. I wasn’t sure what exactly to infer from the way I was treated and may have jumped the gun out of anger and insult. In every feud there is a fair share of blame. I’m willing to accept my share, whether or not anyone else ever accepts theirs.

    Michael Moran

  23. When it’s lies and the possibility of threatening a person’s livelihood and integrity…ABSOLUTELY!

  24. When it’s lies and the possibility of ruining someone’s livelihood and personal reputation. …ABSOLUTELY! And when you respond with truth and tact, even better.

  25. The customer was a fool and was wrong. They are not always right and they know how to intimidate staff just by the mere threat of posting online.

  26. If this customer had ever worked in or even tried to run a busy restaurant he NEVER would have blown this situation out of proportion, as he clearly did. Should the proprietor have taken this to Facebook and used names…?? NO, that was a reaction of POOR form. Bad backlash, too bad!
    The gay issue? Sounds like the customer is clearly hypersensitive and the one who camped on an issue that was never part of the problem. HE was the problem, unrealistic expectations.
    Try working in a busy restaurant, sir.