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Volume 27, Issue 3

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May 16, 2013

How to prevent (or fix) a crisis

The way Salomon “Samy” and Amy Bouzaglo acted during the season-finale episode of Fox’s “Kitchen Nightmares” was a big enough public-relations mess. But all the post-show insults posted online — whether authentic or not — turned an ugly situation into a social-media disaster that could have been prevented.

On the show, which aired Friday, the Bouzaglos, owners of Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, are seen yelling at and pushing customers. Patrons are unaware that the tips they leave for the servers end up with the owners. The couple refuse to listen to chef Gordon Ramsay’s criticism, prompting him to walk away from the restaurant before his job was done, a first for the British host, who has a surly reputation himself.

What happened on social media after the show aired elevated the restaurant’s problems to a full-blown crisis.