Recently, The Raw Store in Thornbury, Victoria came under fire
by social media warriors near and far after the owner labelled
customers of neighbouring business, vegetarian pop-up restaurant
Lentil as Anything, "drug addicts" and
The neighbouring business, Lentil as Anything, is a restaurant
that adopts the "pay as you feel" strategy, relying on
the generosity of patrons in paying for their food and drinks. The
Raw Store posted a status on its Facebook page stating that the
restaurant was attracting "an odd assortment of misfits
including drug addicts out of their mind, smokers, homeless people,
vegans, hippies and anyone else wanting 'free' food and
coffee." The post was quickly deleted but not before it went
viral and received a barrage of offensive comments and
The Raw Store tried to apologise but that only attracted more
criticism. In the end the business decided to shut its Facebook
page down. The owner has since said that her "criticism was a
mistake and small businesses need to be careful what they say on
Have you ever thought about what your business might do if it
came under fire for a post put on its Facebook page?
Here are a few tips:
Post a genuine apology – avoid use of the word
Respond and address complaints promptly but discreetly. While
you want to try and stop the influx of comments, you don't want
to inadvertently produce a '
Streisand Effect.' On the other hand, inactivity may appear
as though you are trying to ignore the issue. This may be more
appropriately done via a private message.
If possible, explain what you are doing to resolve the
situation or plans moving forward.
Don't rely on intentions alone – look at your wording
and ensure it can't be misconstrued.
Above all, think about what you are posting before you post
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