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Meltdown on Kitchen Nightmares: Lessons from Amy’s Baking Company

Meltdown on Kitchen Nightmares: Lessons from Amy’s Baking Company

The Meltdown on National Television and Social Media : A Case Study from Amy’s Baking Company

Amy's Baking Company Hell's Kitchen Finale

Updates

Amy’s Baking Company Update 4/8/2014-  The season premiere with Amy’s Baking Company will air this Friday 04/11/2014 at 8pm on Fox Television. Cray Cray is back on the menu! Come back for my recap. Bookmark this page.

Amy’s Baking Company Update 2/15/2014-  The season premiere with Amy’s Baking Company was postponed. There were rumors of lawsuits and sexual harassment

Amy’s Baking Company Update: 01/31/2014 - THE BEST NEWS EVER!!! This is guaranteed to be great Television. Gordon Ramsay is going to return to Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro for the season premiere of Kitchen Nightmares! http://tinyurl.com/lulceqg I will be throwing a party to watch this hot mess meltdown…MEOW MEOW…HATERS!    

Amy’s Baking Company Update: 05/14/2013 9:15pm PST: The Amy’s Baking Company story got more bizarre, see the bottom of this post for updates 

 Update: 05/15/2013 12:30pm PST: K-PHO Channel 5 in Phoenix just got a rare interview with the owners. It is a little humorous.  See the bottom of this post for the link

Update: 05/16/2013 8:34am PST: Fired waitress from Kitchen Nightmares Episodes unloads on Phoenix Channel 3 ..and the restaurant is packed…. Arizona’s top PR firm hired for crisis damage control. See updates on bottom. 

Update: 5/17/2013 3:46pm PST: Grand Re-Opening and Press Conference Scheduled for Monday. See updates on bottom. 

 Update: 05/20/2013: 3:22pm: Amy and Sammy appeared on Phoenix Radio Station My 103.9 and a restrained paranoid crazy came out. Check out the bottom of the post for excerpts. It’s funny….

 Update: 05/20/2013: 3:53pm: I received this update via fellow food blogger Eat Suki Eat, apparently Amy’s Baking Company had a job fair on Sunday to fill 30 positions. I think they fired the whole restaurant???? See below for details. 

Update: 05/20/2013: 5:00pm: The press conference has been cancelled, due to legal threats. The PR Firm is “no longer representing Amy’s Baking company. See below for details.

 Update: 05/20/2013: 11:30pm; The first day of the Grand Re-Opening was this evening. The outside of the restaurant was like the Green Zone in Iraq complete with a private security company and police running perimeter control.  ohhh and Sammy is facing deportation. See below for details. 

Update: 06/11/2013: 10:14- Amy and Sammy may get their own Reality T.V. Show!!!

 Update: 08/20/2013 – “I survived Amy’s Baking Company T-Shirts being sold on their website. see below for details

 Update: 08/20/2013Crazy is back on the menu!!!!! The Facebook rants are back! I guess they have been hacked again? See below for details

 Original Amy’s Baking Company Post

(see bottom of post for details of updates)

If you have seen the season finale of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, you witnessed the complete and utter breakdown of customer service and basic respect for their employees on National television. What was once an unknown restaurant in a Phoenix Subburbs has garnered National attention not for their food, but rather the owner’s complete emotional meltdown.

What started with a tiff from a disgruntled customer on his blog, caught fire Nationally when Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares paid them a visit.  I worked for a restaurant owner like this and watching the show took me back to a dark place. If social media existed back then, they would have been out of business. Unfortunately for Amy’s Baking Company, they may not be as lucky. 

 See the Fox Networks clips on YouTube below. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gI5LWiPjQIE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tBSGLVfoJyo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUChgD0jmtw

Or Go to YouTube to see other clips subited by YouTube Users: 

The meltdown that occurred on Amy’s Baking Company Facebook Page  the day after, is our lesson for the day on how not to react to negative press. As we will see from Amy’s Baking Company Facebook responses, restaurant owners who don’t develop thick skin will eventually loose their business.

Right before the show aired, the posted the opening salvo on Facebook. Their post said,  “…but will this duo listen to Ramsey, or force him to walk away?” Yikes! They were trying to caste themselves in a favorable tone before the show even aired. I knew it had to be bad. 

Amy's Baking Company Hell's Kitchen Finale

Right After the show aired, they posted this on Facebook. If you haven’t seen the show, the owners of Amy’s Baking Company misleads the customers into thinking tips go to the servers, but in reality they go straight into the owner’s pocket.  The public’s comments come in fast and hard. The internet trolls smelled the blood in the water and started to circle. 

 

Amy's Baking Company Hell's Kitchen Finale

 

Things fell apart for the owners of Amy’s Baking company from here. Note to business owners, the internet is the modern equivalent of broadcast television. Don’t repeat their mistakes.

Amy's Baking Company Hell's Kitchen Finale

If you have an emotional breakdown, it will go viral and end up on everyone’s computer, smartphone and inbox within 24 hours. After that, the internet trolls started a feeding frenzy. 

Amy's Baking Company Kitchen Nightmare Finale

The more you feed internet trolls, the more they get hungry.Unfortunately Reddit users got involved at this point and Yelper’s went vigilante.  Here is Amy getting angry when the REDDIT users discovered that she is selling repackaged cakes on the internet.

ABC FB5

It only gets worse folks, sorry for the publication of Amy’s bad Language. At this point they are issuing a direct challenge for t a fight? Ouch, please stop, this is turning Jerry Springer.

ABC FB6

 

Then the threats of legal action appear, this only seems to get the internet Trolls more excited.

ABC FB7

 

This is were we see the complete and utter breakdown. Jerry! Jerry ! Jerry! I will admit I went from complete disbelief to feeling sorry for the owners. They appeared to loose control over their emotions and started to behave illogically. I really hope they don’t loose their business over this, but it is hard to see another path short of their own reality T.V. show. I do pray for them.

ABC FB9

 

If I were them, I would have called it a night after the first post. I wish them luck and hope they find what they are looking for. I don’t think the restaurant industry is for them. Good Luck Sammy and Amy, you guys will need it.

 
ABC FB13

UPDATE:

I just visited their Facebook page and all their crazy posts have been removed! Although now they leave us this gem instead, enjoy my loyal readers, I hope you got a chuckle like I did. Both Forbes.com and Huffington Post picked up this story and it has gone international with news outlets in the U.K. and Australia picking it up.  Since you cannot see all of their original comments I am providing you the service of pasting a gallery of all their rants below. Many are not included in my original story. Again a lesson for all brands out there, know when to disengage and walk-away; don’t fight the entire internet ,you will lose.

 

Amy's Baking Company Hell's Kitchen Finale

Update: Amy and Sammy now claim all their accounts were hacked and now working with the FBI!

Overnight they gained over 39,000 new Facebook likes! Apparently people are tuning in for the show.

Amy's Baking Company Hell's Kitchen Finale

biggest gain of Facebook Fans in a single day. Congrats on doing something right

 

Fox 10 Phoenix gets an exclusive interview chatting about getting “Hacked”  

 

05/15/2013 Update: K-PHO Channel 5 in Phoenix just got had an humorous interview with Sammy

http://www.kpho.com/story/22252110/restaurant-owners-slammed-on-national-tv-speak-out

 05/15/2013 Update:

They started a new Facebook Page and Crazy is back on the menu. I have been working to verify this page is legit, although based on the fact that users comments are being deleted and users are getting blocked, all signs are pointing toward real. Judge for yourself. See a couple excerpts from their newest page. They are classic. 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amys-Baking-Company-Bakery-Boutique-Bistro-Page/304584339673227

Amy’s Baking Company Update: 05/16/2013 8:34am PST:

O.K. Folks the story continues to evolve. I wish I was in Phoenix right now to check it out!

The waitress fired on the Kitchen Nightmares episode is dishing it out on Phoenix Channel 3 News. See the video below.Their servers are getting slammed, so it takes a few minutes to load.

http://www.azfamily.com/news/Fired-waitress-dishes-on-Amys-Baking-Company-207690151.html

AZfamily.com is reporting that the restaurant shut down for four days after the airing of the show, although is now reopened. Based on my research of their Facebook pages, Sammy wrote on one of their ABC Facebook pages said Amy had a “Medical Emergency.” This post about the medical emergency was removed, although you can find it in my image gallery below.

AZfamily.com is also They have been reopened for the past two days Amy’s Baking Company has been completely booked. According to some of the customers and gawkers on the street, the restaurant is full of 1st time customers hoping for some entertainment. According to an interview with a customer Larry Ash, “You can’t buy this type of Advertising. “

Azfamily.com is also reporting that Amy’s Baking company has hired one of the Phoenix areas top PR firms Rose+Moser+Allyn, who is organizing a “Grand Re-Opening” party, Tuesday May 21st. If you want a seat try to email the PR firm at sjones@rosemoserallynpr.com. If I had time I would purchase a plane ticket to attend.

Arizona Business Journal provides a nice piece on the company doing damage control for them http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2013/05/16/amys-baking-co-hires-jason-roses.html

Update: 05/16/2013 4:47PST

This is their latest Facebook Post, They are hosting a “Grand Re-opening” so that “Customers will be able to decide who is correct.” I realllllllly hope the customers attending are not afraid to speak their mind. I realllllly hope that someone is wearing Google Glasses to capture their reaction.

ABC 3

You can’t make up great stories like this folks! Stay tuned for more drama update.

Update on their Facebook likes: Now look at their total Facebook Likes, they are up to, 81, 596, everyone wants to see the show!

ABC YATZE

Update: 5/17/2013 3:46pm PST

CBS Money Watch has picked up the story and covering their active PR campaign

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505124_162-57584880/amys-baking-company-post-meltdown-pr-campaign/

Amy’s Baking Company’s Facebook Page has now included the full Press Release about Monday’s Grand Re-Opening. There are no more seats available at this point.

According to the press release, posted on their Facebook Page,  they will be holding a press conference prior to the grand re-opening party “…t0  answer falsehoods depicted on a reality television show, including assertions that the restaurant confiscates tips from servers.”  I realllllllly hope I get to see Amy and Sammy is their finest forms. Please ask tough questions folks! all Proceeds of the Grand-Opening will go to a cyber-bullying foundation; it looks like the PR Team is doing their best to white-wash them as “victims”….LOL!!! 

ABC 0517 update

 

Amy’s Baking Company Update: 05/20/2013: 3:22pm: Amy and Sammy appeared on Phoenix Radio Station My 103.9 and a restrained paranoid crazy came out from Amy. 

Here is a quote from Amy, let me know if you think this sounds like paranoid.

“She says that when things started to turn sour during that evening, she knew it was those darned Yelpers.”

Yes, she is blaming her meltdown on “Yelper” like they are a different species. I bet most of her “Loyal” customers have yelp accounts. Look inwards Amy, I hope you like what you find. 

Here is my favorite quote from the interview,

“I started to notice a few people come in the restaurant that looked familiar to me, and as I saw how things were going and how out of control it was getting… I grabbed the producers, I said ‘They are Yelpers. I know two of ‘em for sure are. I have their names and there profiles right here,’” she tells Monti. “My husband and I started to feel that we were being surrounded by Yelpers, completely set up.” …”Amy says the Yelpers went to her restaurant that night “with harmful, malicious intent.”” Amy from Amy’s Baking company quoted from interview on Phoenix My 103.9

See the video of the radio interview here: 7 parts

 

http://consumerist.com/2013/05/20/owners-of-amys-baking-company-say-yelpers-are-endangering-their-lives/

If I had to give Amy and Sammy some advice, don’t talk to the media…it doesn’t come off well. It only feeds the sharks and trolls.

 Amy’s Baking Company Update: 05/20/2013: 3:53pm:

I received this update via fellow food blogger Eat Suki Eat, apparently Amy’s Baking Company had a job fair on Sunday to fill 30 positions. I think they fired the whole restaurant???? See below for details.

According to Amy from ABC, “The job fair went very well,” restaurant spokesman Mike Scerbo told The Huffington Post via email on Monday. “[We had] lots of applicants. We are about halfway to our goal.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/20/amys-baking-company-job-fair_n_3307491.html?ir=Food

 

Amy’s Baking Company Update: 05/20/2013: 5:00pm:

The press conference has been cancelled and the PR Firm is “no longer representing Amy’s Baking company. They cancelled because The owners, Amy and Samy Bouzaglo, decided to cancel the previously scheduled 1 p.m. press conference

“due to legal threats from Fox producers and other threats from “online bullies,” according to a press release.”

Copy of Cease and Desist order from Hell's Kitchen Laywers. retrieved from http://assets.bizjournals.com/phoenix/pdf/abc%20docs.pdf

Copy of Cease and Desist order from Hell’s Kitchen Laywers. retrieved from http://assets.bizjournals.com/phoenix/pdf/abc%20docs.pdf

More…

According to the same article published by ABC 15 Phoenix “Rose+Moser+Allyn public relations firm announced Monday that it would no longer be representing Amy’s Baking Company after Tuesday’s grand re-opening event , which has not been canceled. Seating for that event filled so quickly that the Bouzaglos opted to extend the grand re-opening to a weeklong event.”

Read more: http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_northeast_valley/scottsdale/amys-baking-company-cancels-press-conference-re-opening-still-a-go#ixzz2Tsf9mdAt

Read more: http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_northeast_valley/scottsdale/amys-baking-company-cancels-press-conference-re-opening-still-a-go#ixzz2TsesqQkj

Amy’s Baking Company Update: 05/20/2013: 11:30pm

 The first day of the Grand Re-Opening was this evening. The outside of the restaurant was like the Green Zone in Iraq complete with a private security company and police running perimeter control.  ohhh and Sammy is facing deportation.

This blog post from Phoenix New Times captured the experience.

 http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bella/2013/05/amys_baking_company_grand_re-o.php 

Amy’s Baking Company Update: 05/20/2013: 11:30pm;

Multiple news agencies are reporting that Amy and Sammy have multiple offers for reality T.V. shows. The premise of the shows appear to be around the couple behaving poorly. It looks like society is rewarding bad behavior once again. with that said, I will be tuned in to watch the train wreck.

Amy’s Baking Company Update: 08/20/2013: 1:30pm: Crazy is back on the menu, T-Shirts and shame

They made custom T-shirts to made some money, perhaps for lawyers fees, make up for lost profits or to capitalize on their infamy. I personally like the design, especially the hat that says “I’m the Gangster.” I am seriously going to buy one of these for a white elephant party.

ABC Update 08202013_5_Products

Yikes! She is talking about taking tips from employees again! sometimes you have to just let the controversy die on it’s own. I think she has a guilty conscious. As a former waiter, I am still annoyed with them on this point. Just let your employees keep the tips, its easy.

ABC Update 08202013_2

WOW! Crazy is back on the menu! Well on Facebook at least :) It looks like here personal conversation with Samantha Summers got elevated to their facebook timeline. Bad move Amy, this is the kind of controversy the internet feeds on. Looks like you just rang the dinner bell for the Facebook Trolls. AMY, PLEASE MENTION Tom’s Foodie Blog in your rants!!!!! I could use the free publicity :)

ABC Update 08202013

About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.

2 comments

  1. Wow, did that really cause a mess. Thanks for sharing

  2. Interesting article thank you

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