Offset a financial nightmare with a new currency: likes and retweets
Leading steakhouse Hawksmoor served up an object lesson in #marketing yesterday after accidentally selling a £4500 bottle of wine to a customer who had ordered a £260 bottle at its Manchester restaurant. The stage was set for a witty tweet to catapult the event into the social media stratosphere — devoid of the asinine pandering that food brands are so partial to right now — and the chain duly delivered. Hawksmoor’s social media voice hasn’t always hit the right notes, with an opportunistic dig at then-flailing steakhouse Cau coming off a little unsavoury last year, but as partially salvaging a situation goes, there’s no better tonic than a ton of free PR, and the restaurant’s long-running commitment to charity support helps to allay any cynicism. Also: it was a good tweet.
It’s no consolation to the general manager’s bottom line, and although Hawksmoor has been lauded for handling the situation so well, it’s a stretch to assume that Brand Personality directly reflects internal HR policies and procedures. Detailing the consequences for the business’ finances and any new preventative measures wouldn’t play so well online as a jaunty “chin up” and a cheeky wink, but in 2019, apparent transparency is such a winning online currency that the reality seems to matter less and less.
The big question that many have asked of all this is whether or not the customer(s) drinking the wine knew what had happened. Surely someone who had already ordered a £260 bottle would know, people say; the customers’ reticence to come forward could speak to some insider knowledge. On the other hand, ordering a stupid bottle of wine offhand at the bar is a certain kind of massive flex, and diners’ motives are their own to keep.
To the customer who accidentally got given a bottle of Chateau le Pin Pomerol 2001, which is £4500 on our menu, last night - hope you enjoyed your evening! To the member of staff who accidentally gave it away, chin up! One-off mistakes happen and we love you anyway— Hawksmoor Manchester (@HawksmoorMCR) May 16, 2019
THEY LOOK PRETTY SIMILAR OK?! pic.twitter.com/JWFW81cbe8— Hawksmoor Manchester (@HawksmoorMCR) May 16, 2019
isn't it a BIT strange / not very well mannered that the customer didn't flag? I assume they knew, since they had originally ordered a £250 bottle https://t.co/J8Rh6hCktt— hollowlegs (@hollowlegs) May 16, 2019
And in other news...
- In the more tedious vestiges of brand twitter, Aldi and Lidl are having a fight about square sausages. [Metro]
- Fabien Spagnolo and Max Truel have been appointed permanent head chefs at Crispin in Spitalfields — they currently run ‘roving restaurant pop-up’ Kitchen FM and were recently in residence at the restaurant.
- Sir Mick Jagger is a fan of London’s hottest Italian restaurant.
- By Chloe continues to spread its web of plant-based beef across the city with two new restaurants.
- Pret a Manger could buy out one of its competitors: it’s in talks to acquire Eat, with a view to turning the chain’s restaurants into veggie Prets. [BBC]
- Nando’s will not be serving chicken as part of its arrangement with airline Jet2. [Big Hospitality]
- Ever seen a bathroom fixture being repaired with instant noodles? [The Takeout]
- Waitrose has signed a development deal to build out its home delivery service, after Ocado switched allegiance to M&S. [Mirror]
- Good tweet: