Bar's behavior unprofessional and unnecessary
In Our Opinion
A new business has drawn the ire and eyes of many citizens in eastern Washington.
Daiquiri Factory, a bar and grill that operates in downtown Spokane, revealed their drink menu that features a drink titled “Date Grape Kool Aid,” prior to its Feb. 1 opening. This has caused uproar from the community as protesters, many of whom are rape survivors, have been picketing the business since it opened. They say that the name is offensive, inappropriate and a reference to date rape.
Jamie Pendleton, owner of the Daiquiri Factory, said the name was “not meant to offend” anyone and does not intend to change it. Pendleton also claims the inspiration for the name of the drink came after he saw the term “date grape” on Urban Dictionary, a web-based dictionary where readers can submit a word or a phrase along with a definition and have it appear on a website after a short review from administrators.
If you are a restaurant or a bar that specializes in food service and hospitality, you will have your fair share of complaints as the price for doing business. These are mostly from customers who want to alert the business what they perceive as poor food or service qualities.
Most establishments will handle these complaints by apologizing and going out of their way to fix things, in hope of making sure that customer returns.
But these complaints about the name of a drink makes reference to a serious crime. To believe that people would not — and should not — be offended by the name is ridiculous. The bar should have known that naming their drink as they did would spark all of this negative publicity.
Despite Pendleton’s defenses, the backlash for the business continues to escalate. In addition to the protests outside of the Daiquiri Factory, local businesses have pulled advertisements from KZGZ 104.5 Jamz, a radio station owned by Pendleton. Kraft-Food, which owns the Kool-Aid brand, plans to take legal action against the bar due to what they claim is an unauthorized use of the Kool-Aid trademark.
Daiquiri Factory could have avoided this mess by changing the name of the drink and apologizing to everyone who was offended. However, instead of going through with the change, the bar has taken a different approach in response to the criticism they’ve received.
While they have used social media to promote their business, the business has also attempted to discredit protesters. They have also asked customers to boycott Scott Kusel and his River Bread City Company. Kusel administers the Boycott Spokane Downtown Daiquiri Factory Facebook page. They have also criticized local media for their “lack of research” in their coverage of the situation. The Daiquiri Factory’s Facebook page was recently removed due to violating Facebooks community standards.
Although this might be “old-fashioned,” other establishments continue to make their success by focusing on the merits of their products and the service they provide to customers.
Gibliano Brothers Dueling Piano Bar and Music House have brought in clientele with their niche of being the only piano bar in the city.
Cheney businesses like The Basement, and Eagles’ Pub made their success because of the beer and atmosphere they provide their customers. Northern Quest Casino uses humorous television advertisements to showing good times at the casino’s different attractions.
These places use their websites and social media to advertise their products, events and specials. What they don’t do is lash out at anyone who criticizes their business.
Using social media to try to discredit your detractors not only takes focus away from the product you sell, but also alienates those critics who could have been potential customers. By attacking the media, Daiquiri Factory has potentially ruined any coverage that could have brought more clientele to their business.
Although Pendleton’s behavior is unprofessional, it has also helped the Daiquiri Factory stand out among the other restaurants and bars in the area for the time being. Only time will tell if these kinds of practices help the bar in the long run.