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Burger meltdown, and parking threats

by Ian Apperley
Two excellent PR failures this week. Ekim Burgers, a caravan based grill in Cuba Street, had a massive mental meltdown with serious lashback. And Living Streets Aotearoa completely pissed off Strathmore locals with threatening behavior. Neither party is backing down. Neither party seems to understand the way that new media works.

Ekim Burgers was privately messaged by a patron who gave them a heads up on what could have been a potentially serious issue. The writer chose not to go public and, had I been in her position, I would have done the same.

Rather than Ekim contacting the patron and making sure that all was well and having a discussion one on one, they blew a head gasket. Hell, they blew the whole caravan up. If my customers tell me they aren’t happy, I want to know why, and I’d like to make sure that everything is ok.

Instead, the owner of Ekim outed the private message and the woman’s identity and launched into a massive, rude, abusive rant. Everyone was targeted, from office workers to middle-aged women and all customers in general. When challenged, he carried on about how we should all be pathetically grateful (my words) for attending his mobile grill.

If I was the woman, I’d be laying a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner. If you read the Facebook T&Cs, then there is a good case. Ekim’s trite “nothing on the Internet is private” is the largest amount of crock I’ve read in ages. If that’s true, can we see their personal browser history please?

Well hell. I’d forgotten that when I go to a dining establishment I should scrape and bow and keep my mouth shut if I think the food is shit. I’d forgotten that I was paying to a service and should be happy that I just had that one chance to actually spend my money with you.

Now, I’ve experienced Ekim Burgers before, and this was a couple of years ago when they were parked up at Lyall Bay. I thought the food was good. But the attitude of the short-order cook was painful. It frankly put me off and that doesn’t seem to have changed. You don’t have to be a complete dick to your customers, you can actually be friendly, ask for feedback, and have a conversation.

They have inadvertently aligned themselves with Molten and food snobs who are scared they are being done out of a job. Molten got a poor review online this week in Auckland and reviewed the patrons in turn. I thought that was fine. No abuse. No bullshit. Their view. Good on them. But then, they got onto the online review sites are parasites argument. And you know what. It’s bollocks. I have reviewed for two online sites for years and I use my real name. Also, if I have had a shitty experience, I have enough courage to tell them, not put it online. Point being, I’m not a parasite, and nor am I an amateur, and bugger you for saying so.

Regardless, Ekim has been slammed online for their attitude. Comments are overwhelmingly negative. You could live with that. But people will now be scared to deal with them. The last thing you want from a short order fry cook is a bunch of language that would make Gordon Ramsay proud. I.e. I won’t go near it for fear of being derided.

Second verse, same as the first.

Living Streets Aotearoa hit the news this week after they were accused of posting threatening notes on people’s cars that had dared to park on foothpaths in Strathmore. Complaints were made to their Auckland based “boss” who rapidly disappeared down a rabbit hole.

The local zealots were posting notes on people’s cars telling them they were breaking the law and their cars could be towed.

Seriously? This is coming straight from some Auckland fool who has clearly never visited any of the hills in Wellington.

The Council took a responsible stand. They realise that if you park on some of these narrow streets then they get blocked. They were accused of it being their problem. So what do the footpath warriors want them to do? Widen the roads? No no, they want the locals to give up cars altogether.

Of course, the zealots claim it isn’t threatening at all. But then the zealots don’t realise that a lot of Strathmore are immigrants whose first language is not English. So when they come out in the mornings (the zealots move under the cover of darkness) they worry when they find what looks like a pseudo-legal threatening paper.

Worse, parking on the road around here blocks emergency services. But that’s ok for the zealots, they don’t live here. So when they require an ambulance it will be all good. I’ve seen fire, police, and ambulances who have had to turn around and go all the way around because of traffic on the street.

We’ve lived this way for decades. You put two wheels on the curb, people can get past, and everyone is happy.

So boo to Living Streets Aotearoa and their ridiculous tactics. We say, go back to Auckland and sort your own shit out before picking on a suburb in Wellington that is notorious for tight roads.

This article was first published on Ian Apperley’s Strathmore Park blog [1].