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The Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh won’t let in the Marines

eagleflagPretty extreme headline, right? Note: I changed it because I realized it was actually too extreme, I was being sarcastic and it didn’t come off that way.

I’m sure it’s not that bad, but that sure is the image that the Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh is portraying.

It’s just another example of how businesses don’t understand social media. Allow me to explain.

My friend Summer Tissue runs a non profit called Military Connections. It’s a wonderful organization that sends care packages to deployed troops. I believe she’s getting close to 3 Million packages, but that’s another story.

Last weekend she was taking some of her visiting troops around Pittsburgh and… Well I’ll let her tell it.

I just wanted to let people know that Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh does not appreciate Military Veterans in the same manner that I do. While the 2/4 was in Pittsburgh we tried to take a group of Marines to this restaurant and they were refused service. I asked the bouncer why the men were not allowed to go in and he replied “He can refuse to let anyone in that he wants.” Nice attitude……The guys were not intoxicated, they weren’t acting up, I have no idea why they were not allowed in. I even explained that they were all Marines visiting from other states and the bouncer did not care. I always enjoyed hanging out here and thought it was a great spot in PGH for visitors. I will never step foot near it again.

She wrote this story on the Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh’s facebook page and they promptly deleted it. I found out about it when I read it on Summer’s facebook page. I went to Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh’s page asked them why they would do this.  At least I got a reply – Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh wrote: “I’ve spoken with management and no one has any record of any incidents like this happening.”

I’ve known Summer a long time and I know she doesn’t lie and especially not about something like this. I posted that for a reply and they deleted my entire post and barred me from their page. Oh good, that’ll make everything better.

I believe that the Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh will be in for quite the shock when they discover the Streisand Effect. My friend Summer’s facebook post has almost 40 shares in a short time and I’ll bet it will skyrocket. I helped her out by putting her story on Yelp and in no time it will probably be a million other places (like here) where the Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh has no control over what’s said. I’m sure most of it won’t be very nice.

Wouldn’t it have been much simpler to have left Summer’s original post up and said:

  • “We are very sorry this happened to you”
  • “How can we make it up to you?”
  • “What do you think we can do to make sure this never happens again?”

I’ve said a million times, if you are going to use social media, you can’t hide from it or silence it.

Update 8-7-2013 – 1:30pm

Got a call from Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh today and they told me that they had reviewed the video and that they were stopped from entering by a Police officer because they had an open container.

Summer replied “they pulled the wrong group on surveillance. We all were wearing Pirate Gear. They are going through the tapes again and trying to find out why the bouncer did not let the guys in.”

I’m still wondering why it took this long to get to this point. Why couldn’t they have just talked to Summer in the first place and worked this out?

They also threatened to sue me if I don’t take this post down, proving to me that they haven’t actually read it. I might remove their name if this gets worked out amicably. If they sue the publicity will go through the roof and they know it (or at lest they should). I wrote the truth and that’s not slander.

Update 8-7-2013 – 2:45pm

I thought that Hofbrauhaus had called me earlier, but I Googled the phone number and it belongs to someone named Matt Plapp from the Cincinatti area. Someone who I’m guessing doesn’t have the authority to sue me (although he may). He must have something to do with Hofbrauhaus social media because that’s the business he’s in. Shame on you Matt, you should know better.

Update 8-7-2013 – 3:41pm

Just spoke with Summer and they are now claiming she wasn’t there at all Saturday.
The hole keeps getting deeper. My advice STOP SHOVELING!

11 Comments

  1. My son’s a US Marine and I’m insulted. I, too, have total belief that Summer’s post is true and I’ll forward it not only to Friends, but to Public in facebook. That restaurant can’t delete MY posts! I went to http://hofbrauhauspittsburgh.com/ and left this message, not that it will make any difference to them: YOU WOULDN’T LET UNITED STATES MARINES INTO YOUR RESTAURANT? I was planning on bringing my family to your restaurant when I visit in October, but included in my family is my Gunnery Sgt son, whom I’m very proud of and who just returned from his 2nd tour disarming IEDs in Afghanistan. I wouldn’t insult him by having any of us step off of US soil onto your floor. Thank you for supporting our men and women in uniform! OOOOHRAH!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Penny — August 6, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

  2. Thank you for sharing this! I have seen a lot in the past 10 years and this situation Saturday night was ridiculous. I felt so bad for the guys. They should not have been treated this way.

    Comment by Summer Tissue — August 7, 2013 @ 8:17 am

  3. More from Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh. I guess you just can’t cure stupid

    Via Summer Tissue
    Todd Williams, GM of The Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh just called me. I answered the phone “Military Connections, this is Summer. In true customer service fashion instead of trying to be polite and work to resolve the issue they asked if they could talk to Autumn or Winter. REAL NICE…..Needless to say I hung up.

    Comment by Jim — August 7, 2013 @ 11:01 am

  4. Statements have been made recently that a group of Marines were refused entry into our restaurant because they were Marines. This is 100% false. The person who made this statement said they were not given a reason why people in their group were not allowed to enter Hofbrauhaus and this has been twisted into a story about Hofbräuhaus not serving Marines We do not turn customers away based on anything other than our company policies.

    We have reviewed all of the facts and based on video surveillance and what our staff witnessed we are not able to confirm these said events took place.

    Over the years we have entertained thousands of men and women who have served our country. We donate to military organizations and proudly support our troops and their families. We have management and other staff who are U.S. Military Veterans and we’d never do anything like what’s being posted on Facebook.

    Thank you for your support,
    Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh

    Comment by Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh — August 8, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

  5. Summer’s word is good enough for me. Her story has never changed. Yours has quite a few times. Not to mention threats and other attempts to suppress the conversation.

    It may or may not have been because they were Marines. If they were not given a reason and you can’t even confirm what happened how could you know you know that?

    Why couldn’t you have answered her complaint and worked with her to find out what the problem was and fix it? If you would have read my post you would have seen that was all I was saying.

    You’ll also notice that I didn’t delete your comment or ban you from my site.

    Comment by Jim — August 8, 2013 @ 5:05 pm

  6. Your comment was deleted due to foul language in the post/thread on our facebook page. We’ve not lied once. We tried to communicate with her, but once we went to the video and told her we couldn’t find any situation like she described, she stopped cooperating.

    As far as we are concerned this matter is closed unless someone from their party would be willing to meet and review the facts and discuss.

    Comment by Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh — August 8, 2013 @ 9:17 pm

  7. Foul language. What foul language?

    This just amazes me. The person in charge of Hofbrauhaus social media thinks that they can control the conversation everywhere by deleting legitimate complaints on their facebook page and then banning people for it?

    How’s that working out for you Matt?

    Comment by Jim — August 8, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

  8. Just to be clear I only stopped talking to Matt (the paid subcontractor that handles the Facebook Page because he lied about who he was and has been harassing my supporters.) I would LOVE to speak with someone from the restaurant/ bar. I tried to do that on Monday and Tuesday, but was told I did not have a valid complaint. When I told the person on the phone that I would share this story with everyone I knew he told me to “Knock Myself Out.” So here I am…….

    Comment by Summer Tissue — August 9, 2013 @ 10:22 am

  9. I just came out of a meeting with our attorneys regarding Matt’s contact with us. They brought up a very valid point that I did not think of….if the establishment was trying to resolve the issue then why are the Facebook posts, harassing emails, harassing phone calls and text messages coming from an individual’s email address, Facebook account, and phone number? Shouldn’t the communications be coming from an official establishments Facebook account? establishment’s phone number? establishment’s email address?

    Comment by Summer Tissue — August 9, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

  10. Apparently their cameras only work when they want them to. Here is their official statement regarding the issue last weekend. I have yet to be contacted by a Hofbrauhaus manager. I am not sure where they get their facts…..

    “Statements have been made recently that a group of Marines were refused entry into our restaurant because they were Marines. This is 100% false. The person who made this statement said they were not given a reason why people in their group were not allowed to enter Hofbrauhaus and this has been twisted into a story about Hofbräuhaus not serving Marines We do not turn customers away based on anything other than our company policies.

    We have reviewed all of the facts and based on video surveillance and what our staff witnessed we are not able to confirm these said events took place.

    Over the years we have entertained thousands of men and women who have served our country. We donate to military organizations and proudly support our troops and their families. We have management and other staff who are U.S. Military Veterans and we’d never do anything like what’s being posted on Facebook. ”

    Thank you for your support,
    Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh

    Comment by Summer Tissue — August 9, 2013 @ 9:25 pm

  11. Yeah, they posted that here as well. It’s coming from a Gmail address so I’m not sure how *Official* that can be.

    Comment by Jim — August 9, 2013 @ 9:37 pm

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