Posted by: alliefox | March 24, 2009


Every week for the past year or so, my parents have eaten at the same restaurant in Columbia (since it opened).  Obviously, it was one of their favorites.  However, while I was home for Spring Break this past week, I heard them talking about how they were not going there for awhile.  When I asked why, they started telling me about these whiny and somewhat rude e-mails the owner had been sending out.  Immediately, I thought “this is bad PR!” so I got my dad to print one of the e-mails off for me, and these are some excerpts from it:

– “Here is a little E-rant/reminder to continue doing EXACTLY what you’re doing right now… READ THESE EMAILS! Why bother pointing this out? Well, let me explain… Just like every business in the world, we get people recommending, suggesting and asking for us to do all kinds of different, unique things everyday.  From requests for a certain Special from the kitchen, to offering a scotch tasting? hmmm? What about some half-price wines? hmmm? or other great suggestions. My point is that THESE EMAILS, THIS SUCKER RIGHT HERE, are THE MOST INFORMATIVE MEANS TO FINDING OUT WHAT IS HAPPENING AT THE MOST CUTTING-EDGE, CUSTOMER-FRIENDLY, INNOVATIVE, CREATIVE RESTAURANT IN COLUMBIA! PERIOD.”

– “Who is doing MORE than we are to let our customers know about the cool, fun, unique, food-n-wine-n-cocktail-loving fun that we’re offering! Need I answer?”

– “OVER SIX THOUSAND PEOPLE RECEIVE THESE EMAILS. On average, around two thousand of them open each email. There is significant talk about it. There are lots of “interested people”. And yet EVERY SINGLE DAY we have someone say “I wish you all would do…” And guess what? Ninety percent of the time, we have already done it. And generally it was recently”

Rather than thanking the people who read his e-mails, the owner of this restaurant (which I will leave un-named) is ranting about the people who don’t read them. I think this is terrible PR.  First off, all the “wonderful” things he said about his own restaurant makes it seem less credible.  If the restaurant were really THAT good, people would know about it.  Could he possibly have put more fluff in there?!   Second, he is sending these e-mails to his TARGET AUDIENCE, people who have eaten at the restaurant and obviously liked it since they signed up for the mailing list.  Trying to make your loyal customers feel bad about not reading your emails just does not seem reasonable.  My parents are reasonable people so I am sure they were not the only ones who thought this way of advertising was a bit odd.



  1. I can’t believe it! He’s ranting about customers, to customers! This is proof that yes, people need a professional to manage their communication and their promotions, and in this case, to tell them when to keep quiet.

  2. I agree, this is extremely rude and shocking that it was actually sent out. I don’t blame your parents for not going for a while…this also shows how many people (many “professionals”) still need to learn a lot about e-mail etiquette. This e-mail is hurting the restaurant and it’s image much more than it is helping out. He is pushing away one of his most valuable publics…great example of horrible PR!

  3. […] on “BAD PR” Filed under: 1 — by caramitchell @ 9:17 pm I comment on “BAD PR” by Allie Fox on March 25, 2009. This post highlights an example  of […]

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