CAUSE controversy and win.
It's a tactic shock jocks and tabloids have used to great effect over the years.
And now Hunter Valley cafes seemed to have cottoned on too.
Cottoned online that is.
To the virtues of giving customers a Facebook spray.
When it comes to the hospitality industry, does it now pay to be inhospitable?
We saw the latest example this week with the proprietors of a burger joint up the valley dishing it out to vegans.
The story went that the vegans entered the, until that moment, reasonably unknown burger joint and inquired if there were any options on the menu for their lifestyle choice.
They were allegedly informed that there were, but that the vegie patties would be cooked on the same plate as the beef.
The vegans apparently agreed to eat the patties and for their trouble copped it online from the proprietor of the burger joint for not being precious enough. To which you'd have to say kettle, pot, black.
The ensuing Facebook outrage generated a thread of comments stitching up vegans, bogans and everyone in between,
Industry experts opined about the virtues of treating customers with respect.
And the debate about food intolerance ended with a distinct hint that anaphylactic shock is a choice.
Forget the rights, wrongs or logic of the online commentary, the burger joint is now firmly imprinted on the public mindset.
Possibly to be firebombed if you believe some of the nastier vents.
Typical hollow online threats probably.
Putting that aside, it perhaps confirms that as far as reverse advertising goes, the worst thing about being talked about online is not being talked about.
Particularly if you own a cafe.
It's hard to tell if this was a conscious decision on the part of the burger joint proprietor.
But it did bear an uncanny resemblance to the Newcastle coffee shop owner a week or two earlier, who took to social media to give it to customers/mothers who brought their kids to cafes.
The proprietor was no fan and it seemed that in this PC world we live in (Macintosh too), she was not alone.
Again, another social media conflagration.
People teed off in every direction, giving a startling insight into how much spare time people have and just where this cafe is located.
It's all about "the conversation" in social media land and if in passing your business gets mentioned, viva la free speech.
But first of all you need a topic, which gets us back to the new cafe culture of backhand marketing - pick on someone.
Judging by our two cafe examples, it's good to go minorities, like vegans and young mums.
Vegans and young mums are generally marginalised and, more importantly, snippy. It's important your target is tetchy and also tech savvy.
The social media snowball won't leave the mountain if the victim doesn't have the feistiness plus ability to get online and fight back. Otherwise it's the sound of one mouse clicking.
There's no point bagging someone popular because you may come across as a dick.
Don't diss pandas, for example. Not that they go to cafes much, but everyone loves pandas.
Probably don't bag bikies either.
Their online threats to firebomb your establishment may not be hollow.
And remember, there's always the danger of a backlash.
As was the case with that cafe in Sydney, where the owner told an aspiring barista that no one likes to be served coffee by black people.
The social media boycott generated by that PR blooper justifiably sent the cafe out of business.
Which gets us back to identifying suitable targets for social media cluster bombs.
It's a bit of an art form and definitely an emerging career path in new media, given there are no emerging career paths in old media.
Not that we're advocating incitement either, but Attorney-General George Brandis says people have the right to be bigots, so if you can't say anything nice, say it online.
Shock jocks and tabloids have exploited reliable targets through the ages, so perhaps we can start there.
Overweight people, for example.
Overweight people with tatts?
Overweight people with tatts walking dogs off leash ... who smoke?
Anyone want to throw in a burqa? Nah.
Middle aged men in lycra are a soft target, obviously.
They clog roads, descend on cafes like fruit bats and can get very tetchy when affronted. Perfect for a Facebook frenzy.
On the flip side, they have disposable income. You don't want to alienate cashed-up customers. Unless they're alienating other cashed-up customers looking to sit where they're sitting.
It's a tricky game for the aspiring inhospitable cafe owner.
But cause controversy and win.
Just don't go out of business doing it.