The Applebee’s on Nicholasville Road, ever the unwitting participants in their own slow decline, installed and then quickly uninstalled the new Sarahah app this week. The newest social media craze, an app that allows users to send anonymous messages to participants, was installed and shared via profile links along with their other regularly scheduled nap inducing Snapchat snaps briefly Tuesday afternoon. While the initial thought was that customers would be able to use the app to praise their favorite servers or provide constructive criticism, the Applebee’s crew was soon master-blasted by the reality that is today’s internet.
“The responses, they were really, really hurtful,” said server Bianca. A hostess named Daisey said, “This is the worst app decision we’ve made since rolling out our menu.” Any hopes at constructive criticism were smashed a mere minutes into the endeavor. The day shift manager Frankie agreed to read us a few of the messages the company received; “One guy wrote ‘Your steamed broccoli is gross.’ Uh, we never said it was good; we put that on there as a joke. Our motto is, if you’re ordering steamed broccoli at Applebee’s, you kind of deserve it.”
Frankie continued, “these are very unhelpful critiques. Like this one, ‘the food is terrible and the service is worse.’ Now, what am I supposed to do about that? Those are two things I cannot control. I mean we tried dressing it up. No one was ordering the mozzarella sticks or the grilled chicken, so we tried out a new dish where we put the mozzarella sticks on top of the grilled chicken. What else do you want from me? To hire a new staff and make better food?”
While the staff was disheartened by the messages most agree that this will not be a major setback for the business. One server said, “It’s so much easier dealing with these things online, the things people say to our face here, that’s much tougher to stomach. We’ve been turning the other cheek for years, so I think we’ll be ok.”