The Arizona eatery that became a living case study in social media and crisis management this week has brought in PR counsel amid the national spotlight.
Trouble for Amy's Baking Co. of Scottsdale first started when it drew the dubious distinction of being the first restaurant to cause celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay to give up on his own "Kitchen Nightmares" program, which has him rehabilitating troubled food businesses.
After Ramsay walked off the program aired May 10, a barrage of coverage and social media turned on Amy's, sparking an angry, profane reaction from owners Amy and Samy Bouzaglo on Facebook that fanned the flames of the crisis. Dozens of negative reviews on Yelp followed, as well as criticism on Reddit.
The owners are now working with Phoenix PR shop Rose+Moser+Allyn, a politically savvy communications firm with crisis experience. Firm president Jason Rose is guiding Amy's to a press conference and "grand reopening" May 21, which is being pitched as a change for customers to "judge for themselves the character of [the] owners … who have devoted their lives to and earn their living from their small restaurant."
Rose, who said the event is sold out, quipped that what the Jodi Arias trial was for lawyers the Amy's Baking fiasco is for PR people.
[Updated 5/21: The Phoenix Business Journal reports that Rose and Amy's have parted ways.]