But a certain North-Western burger joint decided to venture a contrary opinion.
It’s been ages since we had a Sunday night pet photo comp…usual rules apply, best pic of your pet. No pugs, rabbits or rats. Few free to mute us for an hour or so. Best pic wins lunch for 2.
— Solita Restaurants (@SolitaNQ) February 4, 2018
As you can see, Solita decided to emit entries from pugs, rabbits and rats in their meal for two pet competition. They are known for their sassy tone on social media and this was clearly a tongue-in-cheek garb to gain more traction with their competition.
However, could they have predicted it would have caused as much fire and fury as it did?
It’s Going To Get P-ugly…
First, the good, and there was some good. They received a combined amount of 7,364 comments on both Facebook and Twitter from this competition, as per midday 6/02/2018, giving them a massive boost in brand visibility. They also ended up featuring in a few major UK news outlets. Everybody was talking about Solita!
Next, the bad. They received over 400 1* reviews on Facebook for their pet discrimination, which rallied around this post in the Manchester Pug Mania page.
They now sit at a Facebook rating of 3.6* out of 5 which is a very lowly rating for a restaurant which proudly states in their Twitter Bio: “Good Food Guide listed and best burgers in the UK according to Daily Mirror.”
When the competition furore dies down, the restaurant will still have their rating tarnished and it will take a long time to work back up.
These ratings are not trivial by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, they can literally make or break a restaurant and are big influencers in the decision making of diners.
For Pug Sake…
In the grand scheme of things, their experience has been a mixed bag. Will pug owners actually stay away from Solita? Most probably not.
Did we read a lot of reviews from people who will never dine at Solita due to geography? Most definitely.
Will the dent in their reviews be something that the restaurateurs will rue? For a short while, most likely.
Social media reputation has become a massive factor in the success of a restaurant, and the resultant slew of bad reviews may potentially put off punters from choosing Solita over another venue in the future.
We just hope that Solita continues to keep up their tongue-in-cheek tone and engaging campaigns. The brand identity that emits itself from social media fits perfectly with the experience in the restaurants.
5* reviews have begun to pour in from people who have dined at Solita and loved the experience, whether pug owners or not, which will shoot them back into the 4 stars.
One note of advice: maybe they should opt to emit entries from a less popular pet next time…
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