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Cinnamon restaurant calls customer an “a**ehole”

| 21 Comments

I’ve no idea why Cinnamon in Ranelagh is so wildly popular for Sunday brunch. It’s jammed with buggies, the food is average and unreliable, and their customer service has been widely slated by bloggers, reviewers, and the public.

I didn’t realise quite how dire it was. Yesterday, they publicly called one of their customers an “arsehole” on Twitter.

The customer said that he had been waiting 40 minutes for service, that Cinnamon was a “pretentious creche”, and that he would not be returning again. The response: “Here’s something else for you to retweet. You’re an arsehole. Why don’t you come in and introduce yourself to us.”

The management have wheeled out the old “moment of madness” cliche, and apologised to customers the offence caused. The staff member has been disciplined.

Now: the cheap eats bit. To counter the very bad publicity, Cinnamon is offering €1 coffees for the next seven days to any customer who mentions “Twittergate” when ordering. The restaurant pointed out that the restaurant is always very busy and they were overwhelmed.

Frankly, rubbish. The “a**ehole” comment is actually just the thin icing on a very large Cinnamon cake of arrogance and rudeness. What’s most appalling is telling a legitimately aggrieved customer that they couldn’t care less if he went elsewhere because “it will be one less person to serve on a Sunday.” They can add me to that list of customers that won’t be causing them such hassle by dent of giving them my business. As for the service, if a restaurant that has been open for more than a year still can’t get the basics right, I’ll pass and go elsewhere – €1 coffee or not. It’s not like there’s no competition in the area: Dillingers and Eatery 120, for starters, also do good brunches.

Readers, do you go to Cinnamon in Ranelagh? Would you even pay €1 for a coffee here? And have you encountered such miserable service in a restaurant, or rudeness online?

21 Comments

  1. Fair play to them, companies should’nt be kissing their customers arse all the time. I bet there was a lot more to that story

  2. Jimbo, are you for real? It’s pretty clear in this instance that there is nothing more to this, because the entire story is detailed on Twitter – it’s not like we’re missing some other secret exchange. Restaurants that tell their customers to take their business elsewhere when they complain about a 40 minute wait simply don’t deserve to survive in this competitive market.

  3. Sounds like a PR stunt even if they’re saying its not.

  4. I feel sorry for them about the Twitter stuff to be honest; it’s so easy for someone to forget themselves on social media and make a stupid mistake, and then everyone jumps all over it because social media is so endlessly self-referential. I also think tweeting to a restaurant when you’re sitting in it is a strange approach and a bit passive-aggressive – although giving the customer the benefit of the doubt, perhaps they tried to get a staff member’s attention and were unable to.

    They’ve apologised and offered customers a coffee deal, I think people should let it go. Of course the customer service (delays etc) issue should be looked at by management but whether a few tweets should be seen as representative of the entire organisation’s ethos is another question.

  5. Mwhaaahaha, the odd moment of madness must have been when the management realised what had happened!!!
    It happens unfortunately too often, as Jimbo’s comment is showing the contempt some business owners have for the very people who feed them. While customers can be real pain in the neck, most have legitimate reasons to complain and should be treated with respect. I once complained about a service online (couldn’t complain to the management because I wasn’t allowed on the day to talk to the manager!). I received a torrent of abuse online, mostly from people who were friends with the employee. Eventually, a lot of customers joined in and complained too. The very next day was a sign in the window with a contact number and email address to complain. While ideally I would have liked to receive an apology, I was satisfied that my complaining had resulted in the management taking action.

    I have never been to Cinnamon, so I cannot judge the service and food, but following this I will be in no rush to go

  6. I do take your point, but not quite sure I agree. People often forget themselves in person too, but if a waiter SPOKE to a customer like this, it would be outrageous. Don’t quite get why it should be any different on Twitter: in this instance, the company’s Twitter account is a business account for facing customers. I also don’t think the “arsehole” comment is that big a deal: far worse is the suggestion that the customer should take his business elsewhere.
    I do agree that they’ve apologised and people should accept that. But I’d be reluctant to go because this has only highlighted how slow and inefficient the service is.

  7. It’s outrageous alright. When I saw this yesterday, the first hit I got when I googled them was Lucinda O’Sullivan’s review – looks like service was as bad when she was there back in February:
    http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/food-drink/restaurant-review-lucinda-osullivan-at-cinnamon-dublin-6-3010476.html

  8. Absolutely, but if a waiter spoke to someone like that in person, and then management apologised, it woudn’t be a ‘story’ – but because it’s on Twitter, everyone takes it at face value that the tweets represent the de facto position of the restaurant. I do agree that the tweets were really rude and ill-considered. I suppose it’s a very clear example of why businesses should be so careful with social media, and have a strict policy for staff before they dive in.

  9. (Sorry Peter, didn’t notice your link was to the LO’S review) I get the impression they only apologised when it got national media attention. I DON’T think the equivalent would be the management apologising after a waiter said it to you, it would be the management NOT apologising until it made it into the papers…

  10. I think this got national media attention not necessarily because it was on Twitter but because it was such a clear example of appalling customer service: a verbal altercation wouldn’t be reported on because there’s too much subjectivity and potential for libel. In this instance, Twitter has performed a useful service by shedding some light on these issues. Ps no worries Steve! :)

  11. Jean, I think the problem is – and Cinnamon doesn’t seem to understand this at all – the RESTAURANT spoke to the customer like that. Regardless of who manages the Twitter feed, it speaks for the establishment, not for one person who works there. Also, I would love to know WHO exactly was responsible for that; it would seem very odd for a restaurant to hand their social media over to a “mere” waiter, so I have strong suspicions that it was, in fact, the management tweeting.
    I don’t think that tweeting instead of complaining is passive aggressive; if they have a Twitter account, it can be used for all sorts of things, including but not limited to complaining, praising, recommending etc. They wouldn’t have had a problem if he had praised them on Twitter; in fact, they would have welcomed it. It’s when negative attention goes out to a public forum that they have the problem.
    I’ve never been to Cinnamon, but there are several things I can’t stand in restaurants: long waits and rude staff. No prizes for guessing my stance.

  12. I’ll never step foot in the place again, appalling behaviour.

  13. What I’d like to know is if the staff have time to tweet but not to pay attention to the customers on the floor then maybe they need to look at their productivity and priorities!

  14. If that’s what they’ll say to your face.. Imagine what they’d say behind your back!

  15. Cinnemon is just around the corner from where I live and I really do like to support local business but sorry no can do ! I have tried Cinnemon three times since it first opened and was unimpressed. I will not be returning unless they go through a major overhaul of every aspect of their mediocre service……three strikes and you are out is my motto when it comes to Cafes. I did not like anything about it. The decor is brown and depressing, the staff inexperienced and the food uninteresting. They do have plenty of room for buggies though !
    If any of you want to see how it should be done take a trip to Salt in Glasthule run by the very professional Avoca group…….perhaps the powers that be at Cinnemon could take a break from twittering and go to Salt for a couple of hours, they might learn something.
    If a business signs up to a Twitter account they should use it intelligently and be prepared for their customers to also use it!!

  16. i also live close by, and gave Cinnamon 4 or 5 chances. Sloooooow, well meaning but inept service.

    The poor service has been consistently mentioned in most of the reviews i’ve read, surely the owners and management have read them too? yet there was no discernible improvement when i was there recently. it takes a special kind of arrogance to ignore so much comment re poor service, possibly the same kind of arrogance that would tweet insult a customer.

    One euro coffee isn’t enough to entice me back there.

  17. I will never go there- I cannot abide bad service and am shocked at the utter lack of basic customer service in this country! They needn’t worry about this customer taking up space in their restaurant!

  18. Fair play to them!!! So sick of rude and arrogant attitudes from customers who have the cheek to think they know who should get fired or not!!!!
    Of course 40 minutes is a long time to wait, but any customer who hides behind twitter to make a point is indeed an ar**hole. So too are the people who cannot see the irony of the situation whereby a customer who clearly has an serious attitude him/herself has the cheek to call the business “pretentious!” Ha
    While there is every possibility that the customer received poor service, his bad judgement and manners naturally forced a defensive reaction from the staff member, which was equally unwise….although my anonymous staff member, I salute you!

  19. This isn’t America. The arsehole customers aren’t always right.

  20. I went there recently during the day and thought the service was quite good. My sister was parking the car while I went ahead – I was going to take a table towards the front but the host steered me to the back on the basis that I would not suffer the draft as the door opened. I did wonder if that was the real reason or whether it was my two black eyes. I had suffered a recent fall and was black and blue facially as a result. I said to to my sister at the time that I wondered if they did not want me to frighten off customers! All in all it was fine, service was good, restaurant is nicely appointed, food was average. Nothing to rave about but nothing to complain about!

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