While fans of Big Star's tacos and patio area may not have noticed, there haven't been any updates on the restaurant's Facebook page recently. That's because the page was hacked. The marketing team at One Off Hospitality lost control of the restaurant's page on May 4. They were locked out for more than a week, only regaining control on Friday.
If you clicked on Big Star's Facebook account during that period, visitors would have found a new page from "Star Texts and Video." Big Star and parent One Off Hospitality increased safety measures after this incident, which didn't appear to be deliberate or malicious. Big Star employs four admins to manage their Facebook account, and apparently one of them clicked on a link that allowed the hackers to gain access. It provides a cautionary tale to the restaurant world which relies on social media to engage with customers.
One Off urged customers via other social media channels to avoid their Facebook page during this time.
"We view social media as a way to extend the hospitality we offer at each of our restaurants," a Big Star spokeswoman said. "We love interacting with guests before and after their dining experiences, and are constantly blown away by how supportive our community is."
Facebook didn't respond to Big Star immediately. Big Star brass tried the normal channels of contact, even asking friends who had Facebook connections to expedite the process. Facebook offers a variety of tips for small business when it comes to safeguarding their accounts. A Facebook spokesman pointed to those links, and said he couldn't comment specifically on the Big Star situation.
While in Facebook limbo, Big Star urged fans to use their Twitter and Instagram accounts for updates, and even warned fans to use caution, lest they become victims themselves.
Our Facebook page has been hacked. We're working on regaining access but steer clear of suspicious bit.lys.— Big Star Chicago (@BigStarChicago) May 4, 2016