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Random spotting: Handling menu questions

Editor’s Note: In our mouse rides across the social media-verse, Monkeydish often spies postings that illustrate how (or how not) to use the new communications channels. We’ve decided to pass along those examples in a new online feature, Random Spotting.

Each installment will address a question often voiced by restaurateurs about the new cyberworld order. This initial installment, for instance, looks at how several chains handled questions about menu ingredients, a sensitive issue to many brands. You don’t want to provide a disappointing answer or one that makes the chain look bad. And what if competitors listen in? But is it really better to say nothing?

Here’s how TCBY handled a relevant situation:

Facebook poster Adam Roth:
Hi, I would like to know if TCBY uses skim milk that is free of rBGH and rBST, Thanks in advance

Roth, 27 hours later:

Anyone?

TCBY, 12.5 hours after the reminder and 39 hours after the initial query:
Adam, we are working on answering your question and will get back with you shortly!

TCBY, 5.5 hours later:

Yes, we do use skim milk that is free of rBGH and rBST although we are not certified yet. Thanks, The TCBY Team

In-N-Out had to deliver an answer a patron might not have liked.

Facebook poster Jen Kierney Bates:
I think I know the answer, but do you offer a dairy free shake?

In-N-Out, 17 minutes later:
Hi Jen. All of our shakes actually do contain dairy. Thanks for checking! Maggie

Mooyah Burgers & Fries took considerably more time, presumably because the relevant product had yet to be added.

Facebook poster Lynette Conkle:

Veggie burger yet?

Mooyah, 3.5 days or 91 hours later:
We're rockin our most popular recipe again... the Black Bean veggie Burger!

In another instance, Mooyah decided that silence was golden, at least in a public forum.

Facebook poster Amy E. Halbrook:
Mooyah…I was looking on your nutritional list for the hot dog buns so that I could write it down for my doctor. I found the hot dog but nothing related to the bun. Can you help me out.

No response was posted by Mooyah.

What do you think is the way to handle menu questions? Talk amongst yourselves, using our Comment feature.

If there’s a topic you’d like us to address in Random Spotting, please let us know.

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