- Home officer: who spends the day there and only consumes water;
- Clueless: who does not pay for the box because he had a virtual service;
- What feels like home: those who do not respect the establishment’s rules;
- Anonymous: who spends two hours in the establishment eating and then complains on the internet.
The video ended up generating many negative comments, especially about the item that mentions paying for the box. One of the owners of the establishment, Karina Barretto47 years old, says that the repercussion showed that perhaps there is a need for greater clarification from the brand.
The restaurant does all marketing and media in-house. “This post is part of an editorial that we are testing to make some changes, adapt to engagement needs”, he says. According to her, there are three people involved in the brand’s social networks. “It’s an ‘educational’ post. Using comedy to do this is cool, but I understand that some people were offended. That’s part of dealing with the public.”
The objective with the video, according to Barretto, was achieved: visibility. To date, the post has reached 86 thousand views on Instagram, and she says she is not worried about the complaints escalating — to date, there are more than 540 comments on the original post and some repercussions on X (formerly Twitter) — one of the posts reached 26 thousand views. “It’s so volatile these days, how things come and go. I think the cancellation policy is as dangerous as it is fickle”, says the entrepreneur.
Futuro Refeitório was founded five years ago and, according to Barretto, whose partner is sister and entrepreneur Gabriela Barretto, who is also the owner of Chou, “it has always bothered” because of its clear positioning. “We have a gender-neutral bathroom, shared tables, we charge much more for a meat dish than for a vegetable dish. For me, this is genuine brand positioning, I miss that these days,” she says.
One of the most liked comments on the original post criticizes the cash payment for employees: “Cash is optional, a recognition that the customer chooses to give or not. Operating costs and salaries are the responsibility of the establishment and must be within the value of the products. I didn’t understand this comment in the video. Fair remuneration for workers is different from a box”, says the message.
Barretto explains that complaints about paying for the box have been more frequent since the restaurant automated the service. Currently, all orders are placed via cell phone. However, she justifies that the 10% suggested is directed to the entire operating team at the site, which totals 45 people — from those who left the bathroom clean to those who make the meals served. “We have a profit-sharing program for all employees,” she explains.
Strategy is risky, says expert
The professor at the Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing (ESPM) and CX consultant, Andréa Naccarati de Mello, says that using irony in communication with the public is a risky strategy, as not everyone can understand the concept. “Often, irony is used to make fun of someone, to criticize, so the use of this resource needs to be very well analyzed to check if it is worth the risk”, he says.
She suggests that brands that want to communicate with consumers via social media test languages to find a clear tone of voice. Even if it is a more aggressive approach, it must be within the context of the brand. These tests can be done quickly with the followers themselves, until the tone is right. “People who follow brands on social media may be customers or potential customers of the brand. A negative repercussion can indeed lead to the loss of current and future customers”, he warns.
Mello explains that customers seek trust and recognition in the brands they consume, with personalized services and customized promotions. Experience involves communication, which is one of the determining factors. “Would ironizing consumer behavior be the way to go? It can be, but with great subtlety and care, so as not to cause the opposite effect to that intended”, he explains.