INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Be careful what you say on the Internet, it could come back to bite you. That was the message from an Indianapolis restaurant owner after his exchange with an upset customer took the social media world by storm.
On New Year’s Eve, a woman had an apparent heart attack while celebrating with her family, according to the posts. A complaint was later posted by another woman who claimed to be inside when it happened.
I will never go back to this location for New Year’s Eve!!! After the way we were treated when we spent $700+ and having our meal ruined by watching a dead person being wheeled out from an overdose my night has been ruined!!! Every year we have come to Kilroys to enjoy New Years Eve and tonight we were screamed at and had the manager walk away from us while we were trying to figure out our bill being messed up. The manager also told us someone dying was more important than us being there making us feel like our business didn’t matter, but I guess allowing a junkie on your property is more important then paying customers who are spending a lot of money!
A manager from the bar replied:
Hi Holly, thanks for reaching out! We love feedback, whether it be positive or negative. I especially like feedback like this so others can see the disgusting people that we have to deal with sometimes. First of all, that ‘overdosing junkie’ that you speak of was a 70+ year old woman who had a heart attack. Thankfully, she was finally revived at the hospital and survived. It sounds like you were very concerned about her so I thought you should know. This poor lady, who was celebrating New Years Eve with her husband and son had to be placed on the floor of a completely packed bar and have her shirt removed in front of everyone so the paramedics could work on her. But I can understand why you think being intoxicated [expletive] that didn’t understand your bill should take priority over a human life. I especially appreciate you making your server (who doesn’t curse) cry as well. I’m sure she really enjoyed working on New Year’s Eve just to deal with people such as yourself. I personally had to leave a show to take a phone call from an emotional manager telling me someone died at Kilroy’s and that other employees were not doing so well dealing with this. (At the time they didn’t know that she was going to make it.) So I understand how inconvenient this was to your night, But honestly, I’m glad to hear you won’t be coming back to Kilroy’s because we wouldn’t want anyone as cold hearted and nasty as you returning. I appreciate anyone who chooses to spend their money at Kilroy’s until they act like you. You can take your money anywhere else after that, and I won’t lose a second of sleep over it. Happy New Year!
The exchange has gained attention around the world, especially in England, with the Daily Mail running a story.
Now, the bar’s Facebook page is flooded with support, with many pledging to stop in the next time they are in town.
Many people felt the comments by the woman, named Holly Jones, were mean spirited, stuck up and most importantly somewhat wrong.
In the post, Jones complains her night was ruined after witnessing a “dead person get wheeled out.” She also referred to the person as a “junkie”, and complained the staff didn’t care about her group’s incorrect bill which totaled around $700.
“I like to stick up for my employees, I’m a manager,” said Chris Burton, managing partner for Kilroy’s. “I was ready (to respond) after reading her comment.”
Burton responded by saying how the “junkie” was actually an elderly woman who had a heart attack. He also defended his staff who were emotionally overwhelmed by someone nearly dying. Burton took a screenshot of the post and shared it with his friends. Within a few days it was shared across the world on news sites and across social media.
“Didn’t expect anything like it when I responded to the lady’s comment. I was really just posting something for my friends to read and have a laugh at or kind of see some of the stuff we deal with in this business,” he said.
Many people on social media praised Burton, calling him a hero for sticking up for his staff. “It was nice that he took a stance and was like no, this is my establishment, you won’t treat my employees this way and please don’t come back,” said customer Heather Wilson.
“That’s good for the waitresses and waiters to know that their manager has their back,” added customer Alyssa Chandler. But not all of the attention has been good. Jones has gotten tons of backlash for her review.
The salon where she worked, Serenity Salon and Spa on the north side, has been blasted on social media. The owner there didn’t want to comment, saying she wanted the focus to be on the heart attack victim’s family. She also made a $500 donation on behalf of the salon to the victim’s GoFundMe page. The family was asking for $5,000 but the donations surpassed $11,000 by Monday night.
“You can only imagine how that family felt, like they’re going through this tough time with what happened,” said Wilson. “Then for someone to call that person a junkie and just go by assumption, I mean yeah we’ve all assumed things but I mean it’s nice that people are so supportive behind that person’s family.”
But that positive outcome is struggling to overshadow one person’s negative words.
“Be careful what you put on social media, it can always come around to bite you,” said Burton. “Just be nice, be nicer to people. Everybody you know, especially in the customer service business, we all are human beings, we all have jobs, we all have to work for a living. Respect other people and they’ll respect you.”
Burton added that he wishes no ill will on the salon. He felt bad that Jones was taking so much heat online. He said people should take it easy on her and told the salon as a small business owner, he understands the power of negative publicity. He offered his assistance if the salon needs it.
Burton, along with the other restaurant owners, made three $700 donations to the page.