O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar and the Power of Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool and when used the right way could make a business boom, but when used the wrong way can take a business to the ground. With people always on the go more and more, they are utilizing social media as their news source. It’s an easy way to see everything that’s happening all at once. So, when you are sitting in a waiting room, why would you open up seven different apps to see what’s happening in the world, when you could open up one social media app like Facebook and read both personal friends updates as well as news updates? I know for me Facebook is my go to place for news, gossip, and just cute family photos and updates from friends and family. It’s so easy to scroll through your newsfeed and just read headline after headline and not dive further in to find out where the story came from and how the information was obtained. One of our local restaurants here in Worcester, MA fell victim to a social media situation, one that I fed in to as well.

O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar in Worcester had a social media firestorm that sent the city into panic mode. Nobody is truly sure where the original story started, but what we do know is it surely spread like wildfire on social media. Post after post started popping up asking if the rumors were true. One post read “Worcester Peeps, please tell me it’s not true…O’Connor’s Irish Restaurant was sold and is closing…how true is this?”. The beloved Worcester Irish restaurant and bar was closing, at least that’s what everyone thought. The news kept travelling and the stories kept changing. First someone reported that a company bought the building and was going to tear the building down and put up apartments or condominiums; then someone else reported a person was buying the restaurant and reopening it under a new name. As the story was passed around, it continuously changed. Yet everyone just couldn’t understand why a restaurant that was so popular and well known for their authentic Irish food would just shut down and not tell all their devoted customers. The owners were well known in the Worcester Irish community and it all just didn’t add up. Business went on as usual and the questions just kept coming in. Customers would go in to the restaurant and ask, the family of the restaurant owners were receiving messages on Facebook asking about the rumors, but it didn’t matter, the story just kept spreading and spreading.

The truth finally came out. The restaurant finally broke their silence with a Facebook post to set the record straight for everyone.

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After all the worrying and the stories that kept spreading, there it was in black and white (actually in color). The stories were false, and although they didn’t know where the rumors had started, they knew they had to put an end to it once and for all. This is a lesson to be learned – that not all news is real news, some is “fake news” or “rumors”. You can’t always believe what you hear (or read), and you always want to make sure that your information is coming from a reliable source.

 

This social media rumor mill that happened to O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar could have been a disaster for the restaurant. Two groups were forming, those who were angry with the restaurant because they thought they were closing and didn’t have the decency to reach out to their customers, and those that were running to the restaurant to get their last meal. The longer this story went on without O’Connor’s intervening, the worse it could have been for them. Luckily, they were smart enough to move on it right away and put an end to the crazy rumors. What better way to take care of the rumors than to go right to the place where the issue started, Facebook! There are now a lot of happy people in the Worcester area now that can now use those gift certificates for future visits.

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