Omnivore - Boners BBQ owner can't quit digging

Boners BBQ owner doesn't appear to "get" why his restaurant came under fire

Image At the risk of getting into a flame war, I'm going to post the newest not-exactly-an-apology by Boners BBQ owner Andrew Capron with the observation that self-justifying mea culpas are rarely effective. This is from today's Atlanta BBQ Club newsletter:

Dear fellow BBQ enthusiast,

You may have recently heard some pretty bad things about us via the internet, or maybe you didn't because you were hard at work and dealing with much more important issues. I would like to acknowledge my mistake of "felony bad judgment" and have publicly apologized for my bad behavior.

My mama always told me that "if you don't have anything nice to say than don't say anything at all," however, we are all guilty of not listening to our parents. Truth be told the restaurant business is a tough business to be in and I had a bad day as we all do. I lashed out at someone directly and what I should have done is lash out at the system instead. The great thing about this country is our right to freedom of speech. No one should ever be penalized for speaking his or her mind, right or wrong, left or right.

What really matters is that BBQ, and food in general, is about passion and there is no one more passionate about food than me. I wear my heart, passion and pig on my sleeve and am very proud to be a part of the BBQ community. I would like to offer Atlanta BBQ members a one time 20% off discount at Boners BBQ so that you can come and see/taste for yourself what we're all about and then make up your own mind.

Andrew Capron

OK. My initial concern is that his very first sentence comes off as glib. Actually, any description of the situation other than, "You may have heard that we behaved deplorably toward a paying customer," would sound a little self-serving.

But the part that really bothers me is his contention that, "No one should ever be penalized for speaking his or her mind." Where do people get the notion that the First Amendment entitles them to say anything they like — no matter how inappropriate, hurtful or douchey — without fear of being criticized for being inappropriate, hurtful or douchey? It doesn't work that way.

My advice to the Boners crew: You might want to quit talking publicly about this unfortunate episode before you pull another boner. Or hire a PR agency.

Although coupons never hurt.