A global outage of Facebook and the other social media platforms it owns, Instagram and WhatsApp, sent restaurant marketers scrambling Monday.
The tracking site Downdetector showed a massive spike in Facebook and Instagram outage reports beginning around noon Eastern time. The outages continued throughout the day, prompting Facebook to take to Twitter to say the platform was experiencing “networking issues” and that its teams were working to “debug and restore” as quickly as possible.
But the widespread outages put a crimp in the marketing plans of many restaurants, particularly since Monday was National Taco Day.
“On big days like National Taco Day, social media is critical to talk about a promotion,” said EdithAnn Ramey, CMO at Tex-Mex casual dining chain On The Border. “Without those channels, it hurts our ability to amplify the message and drive people in to the restaurants.”
Perhaps Taco Bell had a crystal ball, providing a look at the impending chaos. Even before the outage, the quick-service chain was promoting its National Taco Day trivia contest to be held on the messaging platform Discord, rather than via Facebook or Instagram.
Mostly, though, restaurant chains spent Monday engaging with customers via Twitter, one of the few remaining social media routes.
Twitter, for example, posted: “hello literally everyone.”
To which McDonald’s replied: “hi what can I get you.”
Twitter: “59.6 nuggets for my friends.”
McDonald’s: “for here or to go.”
Here’s a look at how restaurants and delivery providers engaged with diners on Twitter Monday, with other social media platforms down:
Me, the social media manager, explaining to my boss how things are going pic.twitter.com/vRZ9Hr0D54— CAVA (@cava) October 4, 2021
Instagram's down... guess you'll have to aimlessly scroll through twitter in your next meeting— Chili's Grill & Bar (@Chilis) October 4, 2021
What are y'all doing since you can't be looking up your ex on Instagram? We're eating a Patty Melt— Whataburger® (@Whataburger) October 4, 2021
IG is down but we're still open if you need a new distraction from work— Dunkin' (@dunkindonuts) October 4, 2021
did someone spill coffee on the keyboard or— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) October 4, 2021
All we did was post about the Pork Chop Griller being back on Facebook and it looks like we broke it…— Bojangles (@Bojangles) October 4, 2021
Need something to scroll? We've got you. pic.twitter.com/dGQ0LQKE0e— DoorDash (@DoorDash) October 4, 2021
*Couldn’t Refresh Feed.*— Biscuitville (@Biscuitville) October 4, 2021
Our Iced Lattes always do the trick for me. #Facebookdown