Restaurant Owner Posts Completely Reasonable Response To Negative Online Feedback

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Restaurant Owner Posts Completely Reasonable Response To Negative Online Feedback – The Consumerist http://bit.ly/SVSaUm

 

JB - PS after you read this article, come back here and share how you "FELT" about the owner as soon as you read his responses. I am curious.  We being owners/innkeepers sometimes have diff emotions when we read from the mgmt response side.

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OnTheShore's picture
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I suspect that they were adjusting all along. It's just they've compressed it all into one response following the comments to the original blog pos.

Note the one reviewer comment cited in the article, where they said (paraphrasing) "We've been twice, our first time the service sucked, the second time it was terrific." (or words to that effect). So that would suggest evidence of on-going improvement, but also makes me wonder why this reviewer went back a second time!

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Harborfields wrote:

 makes me wonder why this reviewer went back a second time!

If I had a bad experience the first time and the owner was willing to rectify a situation,  then I would give it a second try. If things were still bad, no more second chances from me. Happened here recently. Guess what, the place closed down after 3 month Sad

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All I thought is... while it's a nice response, if they saw it in the eyes of their clientele, if they felt it, why did they wait to do anything about it. If you are experienced you should be adjusting immediately... not waiting for more bad reviews.

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Joey Camb's picture
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my only thought was are they doing it? or is it just a really good response?

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seashanty's picture
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i went in and read a few dozen reviews, so that i would understand.

pretty much all negative. and that says a lot.

to stay alive, they HAD to give a good response that was RESPONSIVE. 

if they just owned the one place, i would have felt crushed for the owners.  but owning several, it makes me wonder why they hired so many new employees - new to being waitstaff - why there are so many kinks to work out.  are the owners just stretched too thin ... trying to manage too many places at once? 

 

 

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I too was impressed with his response while scratching my head since he is an experienced restaurateur.  

His reply was a great way to possibly wipe the slate clean and start over.  If not for those that were dissatisfied, at least for those who otherwise would never have darkened the doors after reading the reviews. 

Restaurants are a VERY tough business to be in!

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I thought it was a good and thoughtful response.  The restaurant business is very challenging and opening a new place can be extremely difficult.  Every concept presents new hurdles. 

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I was impressed by him.  He thanked them for their bad reviews, acknowledged the weaknesses, detailed what was being done about it and vowed to improve.  It's a new restaurant with new staff & new cooks, so this type of feedback is vital to his business (though a definite blow to it at first).  He obviously understands the impact of the reviews and his response was perfect.  

I agree with other posters, that since he owns several restaurants these things should have been worked out already.  But, it comes down to the staff.  The owner may OWN more than one business, but he's not the one in there supervising day-to-day activities.  Employees become complacent and the result are reviews like this.  It's just a reminder to us all that you need to be on your A-Game at all times.  

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Reading the response makes me see the owner as honest, and it makes me pull for him to succeed.

But I did note that the following quotes from the article seem at odds.

The owner, who also runs a number of other restaurants around D.C., writes that this is all part of the same learning process he’s gone through at his other places. 

Knowing that, it surprises me that, with that much experience in the business, he needed to make the statement below...

"...we are making some much needed changes to our layout, service, consistency, signage, kids menu, pricing and a host of other things that you helped identify."

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gillumhouse's picture
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One would think, since they own other eateries, the tweaking would have been done before they opened. It is a response that will probably help a lot though. I realize not everyone can be pleased. This response is geared, IMO, to make the bad reviewers say, "See we told him and he listened."

My oldest son has opened several restaurants (as head chef/management) and he would invite the families of the staff to dine as if they were the patrons of the restaurant 2 evenings before scheduled opening. No wait staff could wait on their own family. A critique of food, presentation, service, menu,etc was requested as payment for the meal.

Perhaps this one started out thinking he could be another Ed Debevic, a former Chicago Bear who had a restaurant with the schtick of roller skating, gum-chewing, whadda ya want wait staff. It was expected that the staff would be rude.

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gillumhouse wrote:

One would think, since they own other eateries, the tweaking would have been done before they opened. It is a response that will probably help a lot though. I realize not everyone can be pleased. This response is geared, IMO, to make the bad reviewers say, "See we told him and he listened."

We had 2 restaurants open here that had locations in other towns. You would think they would have it down pat, right? No. Still waiting for one of them (open 18 months) to have consistent service and food not out of a box. Not gonna happen.

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I actually felt he really wanted to do something to improve. I felt he was sincere and honest and open. I would give the place a second chance.  This is totally different than some places here. We have been trying to give feedback for positive change and though owners say they want to do something, we are still waiting. Sad

Madeleine's picture
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Not bad at all! I wish I could sound that calm when we get a bad review!

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