Huff Po: Lorraine MacDuff, the owner of Rainy Days Caffe in Lake Stevens, Wash., has found herself in a stormy situation after using Facebook to shame two customers who did not clean up after their kids, according to Komo 4 News.
MacDuff told Komo 4 News that she asked the messy party to leave after one child would not stop screaming and yelling, adding that the parents were welcome to return but without their kids.
That may have been all we heard of the episode had she stopped there, but MacDuff posted a picture on Facebook of the mess left behind by her customers, whose children had been eating scones. Here’s a picture of the so-called mess:
One of the customers, Kellea Poore, saw the post and shared it with her friends, sparking a social media backlash, according to Komo 4 News.
The picture has apparently been removed from the café’s Facebook page, and MacDuff even apologized for posting the picture, but the negative comments have continued. Some, in particular, felt that MacDuff should be more sensitive to the struggles faced by moms:
Others expressed support for the café owner, however:
This is not the first time small businesses have employed the technique of “Facebook shaming.” A Reno, Nev. bar effectively utilized the method to identify a dine-and-dasher who was later arrested for running out on bills in restaurants around the city.
Still, Facebook shaming can also backfire. Former food truck employee Brendan O’Connor, for example, was recently fired after shaming customers on Twitter for not leaving a tip.
More about Lorraine Macduff From KOMO news:
LAKE STEVENS, Wash. - It's not always right or nice, but sarcasm reigns at the Rainy Days Caffe.
"I am mostly sarcastic," cafe owner Lorraine "Rainy" MacDuff said.
MacDuff learned a harsh lesson in Facebook etiquette after her sarcastic post about messes got her in hot water with customers.
A pair of military wives entered the cafe Friday morning with a group of children in tow. Their children were eating scones, and had made a mess of crumbs under the table.
Kids are welcome, and come into the shop daily, but then MacDuff says one of the children had the mother of all meltdowns.
"He was screaming the whole time," MacDuff said, and finally asked the group to leave.
"I was like, 'You ladies are gonna need to leave, and you're welcome to come back, but you can't bring your children'," MacDuff says.
Macduff then posted a photo of the kids' mess on Facebook with a comment.
"The first sarcastic thing I said was 'I'd like to thank our customers of small children for not making a mess, this is what was left,'" MacDuff says.
One of the offended military moms, Kellea Poore, shared MacDuff's post with her friends, and the post went viral with hundreds of comments being made for and against MacDuff.
MacDuff, a military wife herself, is surprised by the Facebook fallout that followed.
"I had somebody on Facebook threaten to drag me behind their truck," MacDuff says, "I've had people threaten to picket my business."
Poore says all she wanted was an apology, and that the one MacDuff wrote after deleting the picture wasn't good enough.
MacDuff's apologetic post on Monday read, "I want to apologize for posting that picture. It was not right to do that and I am deeply sorry for any embarrassment it might have caused anyone."
"It was supposed to be snarky," MacDuff says, "If I wanted to humiliate them I would have taken their picture."
MacDuff tried turning the negative into a positive by donating the price of a scone for every Facebook comment she received in a 1-hour period.
MacDuff raised $104 for kids' back to school supplies.