Facebook War Between Maple & Motor Customer and Owner: Right or Wrong?

Yesterday, a donnybrook broke out on Facebook when a customer, Michael Moran, called Maple and Motor and requested to place an order on the phone so that it would be ready when he got there. When his request was refused, he claimed management was anti-gay.

Yesterday, a donnybrook broke out on Facebook when a customer, Michael Moran, called Maple and Motor and requested to place his order on the phone so that it would be ready when he got there. The woman who answered the phone told Moran that was against their policy. They take to-go orders, but not call-in orders to be eaten in the restaurant. Especially when there is a line of customers waiting to order. According to owner Jack Perkins, who was not at the restaurant, his M&M employee texted him and said Moran and a friend of Moran’s, Star Michaels, called four times to complain. Michaels showed up with a camera and took video of her complaint and posted it on her Facebook page (it had been taken down).

Then it got ugly. Moran wrote on Facebook: “Never eat at Maple Motor burger!! They are completely bigoted and against gay people. I would never post something like this if it was not true. Not only is the customer service terrible they make fun of gay people in their own establishment.” That, my friends, is a serious accusation to toss out.

Perkins called Moran who insisted that the customer is always right. Perkins explained the rules of his restaurant. “You don’t call a restaurant with a line out the door and ask to be put ahead of those people,” Perkins says. “I don’t do that for anybody. I don’t have to explain why, it’s just the rule. Plus, he threatened to ruin my business and called me anti-gay. How do I know a person is gay by answering the phone.” Eventually, Perkins posted a link to Moran’s Facebook page on the Maple & Motor site and said “This guy is gonna put me out of business because we won’t take his dine-in order over the phone. Come soon before we’re gone.”

Loooong story, short. Moran went on to write a lengthy post about bigotry and the anti-gay staff based on being refused to jump ahead of the line. At the end of his rant he writes: “No business has the right to then post a picture of that customer and berate them on social media. I am completely flabbergasted by this entire event. If the owner of this restaurant can’t take the heat, then he should get out of the kitchen!”

I’m going to ask this question in general, not specifically about Maple & Motor or Jack Perkins or Michael Moran. This happens more than you know.

So please, think hard before you answer. Should restaurant owners call out customers on social media?


  • Mike Snider

    I thought Yelp was the forum of choice for complete a-holes like this. Hey, when you’re in my house, it’s my rules. Don’t like ’em, STFU and go somewhere else.

  • Peter Kurilecz

    the customer lost when they played the “anti-gay” card

  • Mike

    Right, any restaurant owner has the right to defend themselves against a jerk like this, gay, straight or whatever.

  • Joan Miller

    I just read the whole exchange. I agree with Peter. The anti-gay card was thrown out without provocation. I am a lesbian and I hate to see this. Sad to say it happens more than i care to admit. It makes me sad. And yes I think the owner has the right to defend his business.

  • Rich

    Well, it’s a well known fact that Jack Perkins also hates one-handed people. One time when I was in line, he was at the door and saw that I only had one hand and made me keep waiting in line! I still had to wait for all the other customers who were there before me to order first. Fully knowing that I would be unable to twiddle my thumbs (a favorite pastime, I’ve heard, of two-handed people who are waiting in line), there I stood, watching him operate his business as if I were no different than anyone else. The worst part was, he talked and chatted with me as if he thought I was just a regular person with two hands and didn’t even apologize for not at least letting me jump ahead by a few people.

  • aph112

    This customer is obviously ignorant and completely out of line. A restaurant reserves the right to put in place policies, this is a policy that A LOT of establishments would not budge on. Seeing that Maple & Motor is a very popular Dallas restaurant, if they did this for one person, they would have to do it for everyone. This person is a cry baby that did not get their way, and is now blowing something out of proportion completely. If the customer did not want to be called out on social media they should of kept their mouth shut and stood in line like everyone else.

  • Francesca


  • Alix

    Actually, it sounds like the customer has been a loser for quite some time.
    Shame on them for trying to leverage a claim of bigotry after being reasonably denied their request for special treatment.

  • Lynette Gould

    1 for Maple and Motor…0 for the customer!

  • Alix

    The customer is a whiny jerk, no doubt, but it’s painful to see M&M stoop to his level by linking his FB account and continuing to engage with him on their own FB page. They are making themselves look petty and there is no potential for positive gain by indulging him. They will only manage to put off some of their loyal customers with this circus.

  • Mamaterre

    I applaud Jack Perkins and his employees for their consistency at Maple and Motor. No one likes a person that thinks they can j
    jump in front of a line in any form or fashion. In a restaurant or anywhere else. This moron is probably the same guy that pulls

    out of the traffic line that is waiting patiently on the freeway only to try to jump back in at the front of the line causing the entire

    problem to begin with. IT’S ALL ABOUT THEM!!!

  • Ty Larson

    The issue was handled poorly on social media.

    The owner of M&M could have addressed the issue much more deftly than posting a photo of the customer and starting a flame war on Facebook. It seems like the M&M customer base has bought in to this sort of abrasive, no-nonsense approach to customer though, so at least Jack Perkins is sticking with his branding.

    I still think it would have been more sensible to say something like, “Some people think we’re assholes and bigots, why not just come in and see for yourself before giving into the social media hype?” It would have been true to his character, but not been so poorly executed.

  • Liz Cappon

    I’m inclined to agree with Alex. The customer was in the wrong based on my understanding of M&M’s business model (typically a long line to eat in the restaurant) and with how ridiculously the customer acted. And I also understand why the business felt a need to defend themselves from false accusations of bigotry, but also think they took it a step further than needed by posting his image, name & website. Both sides come off pretty poorly to me, the customer obviously being the instigator, but the business could have tried harder to be the bigger person– although I will say they could have been much worse, ie Amy’s Baking Co. Customer is an idiot though from what I can see of this fight and I will say M&M was put in a very tough spot, especially with so much recent press on anti-gay businesses. I’ve never been to M&M, always wanted to try it though (based on recommendations from my gay friends who enjoy it), this won’t dissuade or encourage me from doing so.

  • Tinamarie

    The customer is out of line but anyone who works in the service industry sees people like this all the time but Jack was wrong to engage the way he did. He has way too much time on his hands. It’s not the first time he’s disparaged (or bullied) a customer online.

  • auntiecairo

    The customer was wrong to ask to order ahead and eat in – that’s a good way to piss off people in line. That being said I only went to M&M a couple of times because didn’t find it to be very customer friendly; hard to get questions answered. And they shouldn’t have engaged on Facebook — just move on.

  • rvponders

    Yes. People take “the customer is always right” way too far these days. It does not give you the right to special treatment over other customers. i would be angry if I was standing in line and someone called in and got a jump in line because of it…

  • Jamileh Delcambre

    This interaction only makes me love Jack and Maple & Motor more.

    This entitled customer should be ashamed of himself for playing “the gay card” to get special treatment when there are hundreds of thousands of gay people facing real persecution in the world. Shame on Moran and kudos to Jack for putting this guy in his place.

  • bigjondaniel

    So much free publicity. I’m starting to wonder if Jack pays someone to do this for him. (just kidding, jack. Don’t chew my damn leg off)

  • no_really

    Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Simple as that.

  • Paul

    It depends entirely on the circumstance. I’m fully behind Jack on this one.

  • dallasboiler

    I don’t see any issue with M&M posting about this link on their Facebook page. The upset customer took the first step to make the dispute public by bringing his friend, shooting video of the complaint, and posting it to the public via social media. If the customer wanted to handle the dispute privately, then he should have kept the dispute private. Businesses have the right to defend themselves against the one-sided mob mentality that’s all too common via social networking. While no business owner could say this to his/her staff, the truth is that the customer is NOT always right (as appears to be the case here).

  • Bri

    I wouldn’t”call out ” the customer the way Perkj a did, simply because I wouldn’t want to lower myself to to Moran’s standard. However, I do think it’s a good idea to answer customer complaints online, and let the public decide. Reasonable people can see that Moran was just trying to get his way by throwing a fit. I’m sure of he were next in line to order and had waited like everyone else, he also wouldn’t appreciate the employees pausing to take a call for someone who hasn’t done the same.

  • TheGuy

    The votes seem to be solidly in M&M’s corner. So I assume Mr. Moran will be posting to his Facebook page how SideDish is the most anti-gay food blog in town. If such a thing is possible. Or is that an antigay remark? The good news is the line at M&M just got a teensy bit shorter? Wow, that sounds kinda gay. I think I’ll just shut up.

  • Nancy Nichols

    What gets me about all of this is the immediate jump to anti-gay and posting it all over Facebook–sharing the page with the gay community without one bit of evidence that there was even an exchange over gayness. If someone slammed SideDish for being anti-gay without proof of an anti-gay action, I’d smother them. I’m about as pro-gay as you are going to find in this neck of the woods.

  • yougohomenow

    “Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference….” was it Twain?

  • Susie Bauer

    I’m with Rich on this one (even though I think I still have both hands) and also agree with Dallas Boiler. Having had to deal with a similar situation when I first opened my last restaurant, Iris, I still wish I had at least “responded” on line instead of just keeping quiet and letting it go away on its own. People who think they are all powerful because they can hide behind a social post are just little chicken …..!

  • restauranter

    Oh my well I have spent my whole life in this business over 40 years and just when you think you have seen it all. I think the whole social media thing is out of control but that’s just me. The customer baited him and it worked. I would have just let it go but I get it. I don’t understand this idea of calling ahead to have your food and table ready when you arrive? I only thoughts moms did that…People have been calling out restaurants and other service industry’s for years. Anti kids, anti gays, anti smoking, anti whatever…I feel for Maple and Motor but I don’t think they would last in that neighborhood if anyone took the customer’s rant serious.

  • Rodney Haas

    Another example of somebody who has issues dealing with society. It’s just rude to even attempt to order onine and skip the line. Getting irritated because the restaurant did not abide by the bad social behavior is just crazy at best!

    I am 100% with Jack on this. He should respond in public since the customer did.

  • paolo

    Why is it people in customer service always have to bite their tongue and have no platform to vent when a customer is a dick? Why are customers dicks? When did that entitlement become a reason to try to havea biz closed, or an employee fired?

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  • Shawn Schultz

    would all the homosexuals GO AWAY PLEASE for the betterment of all man kind???? Good God, you can’t hardly go thru one day without hearing about some homosexual this and homosexual that….How bout this….i go into your restaurant and cut the biggest and wettest egg smelling fart ever and because the pitch wasn’t high and airy, the homosexuals get offended cause I didn’t fart like a little girl….PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE…ALL HOMOSEXUALS JUST GO AWAY

  • Nancy Nichols

    Sorry, I’ve had to delete some comments. As I said it the post, i’d like your opinion IN GENERAL on the subject. Don’t throw the anti-gay arrow here.

  • Jack Perkins

    I would loved for this to have ended with the phone call that I made to Michael to explain the policy and ask him to quit calling the restaurant to badger the ladies working there. He wasn’t satisfied with that. He wanted to let me know that I would pay dearly for not acceding to his demand. Simply not coming to the Maple & Motor was not an option.

    Had he posted on his Facebook page that he disagreed with my policy and would never go back, I would never have acted. If he had told every person in Dallas that I’m a dick, that would have been fine with me and at least partially true.

    What he did instead was post that because we didn’t go outside of this policy, which we never have, that we were somehow anti-gay. That crossed a line. Think of all the ways that I could have negatively responded. What I did was to post a link to his business website with a tongue in cheek response to his threat. It’s funny. We laughed and waited for it to become public forum for me to respond to the anti-gay charge. I now have.

    I’m a playful guy. I don’t mind that some people think of me as a curmudgeon. Call me whatever nonspecific name you want. Asshole? OK. Prick? No problem. Shitty restaurateur? Prove it, but fine, whatever. I can roll with all of that.

    If you allow people to make specific, unfounded charges without response, that is how you will become known. I could not let this one pass. I hope you all defend yourselves if it ever comes to that,

  • golfnfashion

    Perfectly stated. I visit Maple & Motor often, and will continue to do so. For the food, and also the clearly stated business practices. Finally, a business, and business owner, willing to stand up against ill-meaning customers. I learned from my retail-business-owning-father that the customer is not always right, but there is a way to tell them they are wrong. Jack tells them the way my father would (pre-social media), and the way it should be.

  • Jamileh Delcambre

    People like Moran walk around thinking the world owes them a favor. People like you remind them that it doesn’t.

  • twinwillow

    Gotta side with Jack on this one. He was entirely within his right to enforce HIS restaurant’s rules. Which in this particular case, make perfect sense on both a financial and customer (the ones on line) rights basis.
    This “customer” was a total jerk for using the “gay card”. I know Jack Perkns and he would never intentionally discriminate against anyone.

  • twinwillow

    Jack Perkins is a great, honest guy who does not discriminate against anyone. Sure, he can be a curmudgeonly but, he runs a tight (and very successful) business model which is fair enough for him and his customers.

  • Mike

    I get that Jack has a reputation for being an ass. I do not see anywhere in this story that shows the employees and owner anti-gay! seems like that card was played just because you didn’t get your way. What the story does tell is an asshole owner would not put up with some snot nosed little prick who thinks he doesn’t have to follow the rules.

  • Barry Kooda

    Individual customers wield incredibly disproportionate power through social media and the internet. It only takes a few keystrokes to do irreparable damage on Yelp and other such sites and now the owners are learning that they have to act quickly and decisively to counter such attacks. Perhaps if Yelp offered the option to leave reviews of individual customers using a similar star based rating system it might even the playing field a bit.

  • Uptown guy

    I have called many times during lunch hour to place an order just like this. They turned me down as well. Jack must be against uptown yuppies too!!!

  • Barry Kooda

    The customer wields incredibly disproportionate power on the internet. Just a few keystrokes can cause irreparable damage to a business and owners have learned that they must act quickly and decisively in order to minimize that damage. Perhaps if Yelp offered a system to rate customers in a similar star based rating system it might level the field a bit.

  • Bobtex

    WWHD? That is, what would Harvey Gough have done in today’s social media environment? He would have made Jack Perkins look like the Cowardly Lion.

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  • carlwilliams

    this is about as right as it gets.

  • twinwillow

    Good Idea! UBER does it that way. The rider rates the driver from one to five stars and, the driver can also rate the rider from one to five stars.

  • Jeff Hayden

    I think Moran is spelled wrong.

  • steve

    Gay’s lost when he played the anti gay card.

  • Deborah Young

    As stated by Gene Street, “the customer is always right until he pulls a gun.” I think this is a gun on the part of the customer and M&M was right to defend themselves………..

  • Deborah Young

    According to Gene Street, “the customer is always right until he pulls a gun.” I think this was a gun and M & M has a right to defend themselves…………….

  • Kevin Reese

    Customers are always calling out resturants & other business all the time, so why cannot a owner do the same.?!

  • guest44

    This wasn’t a legitimate customer service complaint. It was malicious and outright libel intended to damage M&M. Therefore Jack had every right to defend his restaurant publically.

  • conservexx

    Owners of restaurants are people before theyre biz owners. The accusation is a personal attack. M&M fought back personally too. This will not hurt their business. It’s obvious who the diva is here. #pun

  • Gene Fairbrother

    Simply put NO! Every business, especially the hospitality industry, is not going to please everyone and various complaints are inevitable. When a business starts boxing with a customer via social media … the business doesn’t have a chance of winning because they are in effect asking people to take sides. They are also … just as this blog is doing … inviting the topic to continue in other forums instead of dieing a quick death.

  • Gene Fairbrother

    Best reply in this blog!

  • Jonathan Crouch

    I’m not sure how I see that action was against gay people… sounds like it was more against one person with a sense of entitlement, who happens to be gay….

  • Tall One

    Yeah, the customer was definitely wrong here, and it’s horrible they played the gay card (same as if they played a race card, pregnant woman card, and even veteran card). We all have to wait in line, and it’s just tough that this guy couldn’t accept that. As far as how M&M handled it, they probably could have taken a higher road on social media. However I totally agree that they should defend themselves so some loser don’t make them sound anti-gay and then rile up the whole “let’s boycott them” movement. I’m gay and think this dude needed a big bitch slap and be banned from M&M for making all this drama.

  • Gus Harris

    Yes the owner has a right. It’s HORRIBLE when someone plays THAT card just to get his or her way and it clearly wasn’t the case. It’s demeaning and a sign plain ignorance. It’s a spit in the face of those that have legitamaly been wronged in these areas.

  • DorianGray

    Old boy tried to screw all the people in line, sight unseen, by calling in…sounds “bi” to me.

  • Leslie Frank

    I work in the Medical District near Maple & Motor I’ve been twice, no complaints about food, but management left a bad taste in my mouth on two occasions. I was waiting with work friends in the long line out the door when the owner spotted 2 people behind us that he knew and he let cut the line. On another occasion I was told I could not sit down to reserve the table for my friends who were waiting to order, only to see this rule disregarded about 10 minutes later when one of their friends came in. I haven’t been back since.

  • Ron McCallister

    Congratulations, Jack. I damn near jumped on a plane to fly down and eat a great burger at M&M – just to show solidarity with you on this. I understand, but wholeheartedly disagree with, the pacifist sentiment expressed by those suggesting that you should have dealt with this in a meek manner. Social media has enabled an entirely new class of bullies, and as is always the case with bullies, meekness doesn’t work nearly as well as kicking ass. If you had reacted any differently, I’d have wondered how you and Matt ever got to be such good friends . . .

  • Kessler Porker

    If we are to believe the customer’s Facebook post it appears that both of them behaved childishly with name-calling etc. I don’t think M&M was wrong to do this but he surely could have handled it better. I’ve eaten there a couple of times and never got what the big deal was.

    I like my day to be as pleasant as possible so rude servers, owners & customers get their just rewards and I’ll take my money to some place where they treat you nice, like Goff’s 😉

  • coleman

    amen to that! the customer is NOT always right. this is such an american idea. i agree with you, when i walk into someone’s place of business i wont pretend to own the place.

  • Superhamster Superhamster

    Call ’em out! The customer lost when he LIED like a big rat dog.

  • Superhamster Superhamster

    Call ’em out! The customer lost when he LIED like a big rat dog!

  • Darin Robinson

    This is a win for Maple and Motor. A rule is a rule. The behavior isn’t based on bigotry, in fact it’s established to provide a fair shake to everyone. This kid is a clown who needs to settle down and stop throwing thought bombs over not getting a hamburger faster than other people. Lines exist, that’s the way it goes. This feels like a tantrum.

  • Superhamster Superhamster

    I’m glad M&M called this bozo out by name. That way, anyone who sees his lying crap reposted or reblogged will know it’s the same lying lines of crap.

  • Darin Robinson

    This is a win for Maple and Motor. The rule exists in fact to provide fair service for everyone. The kid here is an idiot for throwing a thought bomb like this. Bigotry? The rule is the opposite of that. This feels like a tantrum over a hamburger…

  • GigiB

    Heck yes. Restaurants have the right to defend themselves against ridiculous customers especially if their accusations are unfounded. It’s nice to see a restaurant owner stand up for himself. Sorry but the customer is not always right.

  • Erin Ahlfinger

    Sounds to me as though the Facebook post was linked to his Facebook post which HAPPENED to have his picture, like most do. It’s not like he went out of the way to publish the customer’s picture.

    Didn’t something similar happen at Ten Bells Tavern a while back? I tend to think that since an individual has the right to publish negative comments on social media, the business owner has a right to respond on social media. Just because they have the right to do it doesn’t make it a good idea. Responding in a nasty, unprofessional manner could be as harmful to the business as the negative commentary that inspired it.

    The business owner makes the call and incurs whatever consequences it brings upon the business.

  • Ron McCallister

    Jack’s action was not anti-gay, but it was definitely anti-bullying. We need more people like Jack to show courage in dealing with such social-network bullies, so that they learn that their intimidation tactics will not work. Way to go, Jack!

  • hotrod

    The “customer” gay or not is not entitled to jump the line by trying to circumvent the house rules. Rules which the proprietor has a right to set and enforce. This is just another example of gay activists trying to use their clout of calling anyone who does not submit to them a bigot. I have dear gay and lesbian friends whom I like and respect who would never dream of trying this type of stunt. I agree with the proprietor of Maple and Motor and if that makes me a bigot, I am proud to wear that title.

  • Jesse

    As always, the actual details in these situations are never fully brought to light. People feel justified to throw the first stone and end up shattering the mirror we all forget to look at from time to time. Well now you have a pile of reflections to choose from, one for every moment you make a mistake and get called out on.

  • Michael Moran

    I have learned something in recent days; once we form an opinion of someone, it is almost impossible to change because of our innate desire to be right, a desire to look good and avoid looking bad. Recently, due to this ridiculous social media feud, I have been called an entitled nobody and several other deprecating things by people who barely know me or don’t know me at all. That being said, I don’t fault them for their opinion, as everyone is “entitled” to their own. I would ask that they temper their vitriol as I now will temper mine and seek out some understanding. I am a human being after all and it is not in my temperament to be confrontational. That being said, I do have Irish blood that occasionally boils. I allowed myself to be hooked by anger and upset over someones dismissive and rude tone of voice with me over the phone. I wasn’t actually asking to be put ahead of the line, I actually said to the young girl that they could make it as a to go and if there was a seat when I got there I would grab one or I would just take it to the car. Her response was again rude. I have been a waiter, a busser, a bartender even a dishwasher in my lifetime so I am no stranger to the industry. I still feel that denying a customer request should be handled with more tact but, I could have chosen to use more tact in my response to feeling offended. I had heard many complaints in the past from friends who were gay who claimed that the business was not very gay friendly. I wasn’t sure what exactly to infer from the way I was treated and may have jumped the gun out of anger and insult. In every feud there is a fair share of blame. I’m willing to accept my share, whether or not anyone else ever accepts theirs.

    Michael Moran

  • Denise Daniels

    When it’s lies and the possibility of threatening a person’s livelihood and integrity…ABSOLUTELY!

  • Denise Daniels

    When it’s lies and the possibility of ruining someone’s livelihood and personal reputation. …ABSOLUTELY! And when you respond with truth and tact, even better.

  • Meatloaf

    The customer was a fool and was wrong. They are not always right and they know how to intimidate staff just by the mere threat of posting online.

  • Mfuerst

    If this customer had ever worked in or even tried to run a busy restaurant he NEVER would have blown this situation out of proportion, as he clearly did. Should the proprietor have taken this to Facebook and used names…?? NO, that was a reaction of POOR form. Bad backlash, too bad!
    The gay issue? Sounds like the customer is clearly hypersensitive and the one who camped on an issue that was never part of the problem. HE was the problem, unrealistic expectations.
    Try working in a busy restaurant, sir.

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  • John Tiller

    The fact of the matter is Moran didn’t get special treatment, gay or not, got upset, and went on to whine about it. Restaurant owners are subjected to social media reviews, likes, dislikes, opinions right or wrong, all the time. It is only fair that Jack and any other owner for that matter defend themselves via the same media streams that are often used against them.

    I suggest if Moran expects special treatment he stay the hell out of Jack’s kitchen!!!

  • John Tiller

    Hey man, we will always keep coming back. Ignore this idiot. As a matter of fact we are coming in for tatter tots and burgers Monday.