Film & TV

Avoid Amy's Baking Company Freakout: Five Tips From PR Guru Larry Carrino

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Look, we'll give them the benefit of the doubt concerning their Facebook postings (if you want to have some fun, Buzzfeed's curated a good selection), but this brought up a good question: Just how does a restaurateur handle tough situations and negative comments?

We consulted Larry Carrino of Brustman Carrino Public Relations. First, he thanked his lucky stars this was not his client. Then he gave us a list of five things a restaurateur should never do when dealing with the public. Before you get on the internet to reply to a Yelper or tout your "Kobe" hot dog read this:

1. Think before you post.

Yes, social media is an amazing tool but much like anything, if used badly it's dangerous. Twitter wars? Grow up. TMI? Have some self-respect. Consider what you're putting out there and what it says about you, not just what you're saying.

2. Don't attack reviewers, professional or otherwise.

If a reviewer gets something factually incorrect (the salad could not have had chicken in it because that salad doesn't have chicken in it!), then feel free to state your case but stick to the facts. Reviews are subjective, so calling out a critic, or Yelpers or bloggers as being "wrong" or "having an axe to grind" looks petty and ultimately accomplishes nothing. A negative review doesn't mean a libelous or factually fraudulent review. Know the difference. And also ask yourself, when reading criticisms, "Is any of this right and what can I do to improve?"

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss