3rd new one in a month

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Madeleine's picture
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I'm not complaining about this! We've had our 3rd new restaurant open here in a month. We've now been to all of them. I am embarrassed for the owners and don't know whether or not to say anything. The spelling on the menus is atrocious. It's as if no one knows English or the mgmt team just doesn't care enough to get it right. The grammar is not good either.

The more established places have got it right. So these newbies look pretty bad. And, it makes the town itself look stupid.

So, say something or keep quiet?

 

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Kay Nein's picture
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I think spelling errors are THE worst, avoidable, ridiculous error a business owner can make.  One spelling error or transposed letters is all it takes to completely change your image.  Drive me NUTS!

It's possible when you mentioned spelling errors, they thought maybe one or two and decided they weren't going to go to the expense of reprinting all the menus for such a little mistake.  If it's as bad as you say - and some of you might consider this overboard - but I'd get a copy of that menu somehow (ask for a take out menu or  find one online?) and highlight every spelling error.  Then mail it in with a polite letter saying that you just want to help and as a new business you know they have alot on their plates, but this is an important image killer, you want them to succeed, blah blah. 

 

Madeleine's picture
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Went back to one of the restaurants and they're still saying 'you guys' so I don't suppose they really care.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Just had guests stay with us who complained that the b&b they stayed at prior to us called all the guests "you kids"...this was from hired innkeepers who are in their 30s!

Arks's picture
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I can tell you that, after their stay, my second guests e-mailed a full page of compliments followed by a full page of suggestions, and I was especially happy to get the suggestions, because I want things to be right, and I know I don't have all the answers myself.

Sure some of the suggestions were not reasonable, but most were, and I've been working in the weeks since to make them happen. Sure you're busy with other things in those first weeks, and in all the following weeks, but that doesn't mean you can't keep up with a "punch list" of suggestions, and get to them as you can.

I've had more suggestions since those first ones, and every single one was like gold to me.

But, like all the innkeepers who come here to share and to learn, I care. I want my guests to have the best experience I can give them. Unfortunately, every new business owner doesn't care as much as Innspiring business owners!

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Madeleine's picture
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During our first month here guests would ask (and they still do) how long were we doing this. For the first few days I looked at the clock and said, 'Oh, about 52 hours now.' Chuckle, chuckle.

The first month was when we got a lot of unsolicited advice. Like changing our name to something that started with an A. Or a number.

And the list went on from repricing our rooms to what amenities we should add to how we should serve breakfast, etc. That list is still in the back of my mind and every once in awhile I find a way to add one of those amenities.

The first couple of times it was hard because we were up against the memory of the PO's who everyone loved. Then I just tried to take it as people wanting us to succeed. (I wasn't always successful viewing it that way because of the way it was presented to me.)

I think if I had egregious spelling errors on my website I would want to know. Which is why I thought to tell the restaurants.

Highlands John's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

 Then I just tried to take it as people wanting us to succeed. (I wasn't always successful viewing it that way because of the way it was presented to me.)

I think much of the time this is how comments are intended, but it's not always easy to see them this way.

We have a guest questionnaire in the rooms and I go up the wall at some of the comments people write, DH often points out that the comments were meant to be helpful, not critical.

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Joey Camb's picture
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I was telling a guest yesterday about that one "too much pine in the room" they were laughing so hard it was hilarious!

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Highlands John's picture
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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

I was telling a guest yesterday about that one "too much pine in the room" they were laughing so hard it was hilarious!

laugh

Arks's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

I think if I had egregious spelling errors on my website I would want to know. Which is why I thought to tell the restaurants.

Smiling  I'd love to see the puzzled expressions on the illiterate restaurateurs' faces if you use the word egregious on them Smiling

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I kind of disagree...at least for the moment.  I can remember  when I opened our inn and people would offer lots and tons of advice- second guest, third guest, list of suggestions!   IF it's their first month, they have a lot on their plate and words of wisdom would come in one ear and out the other.  If your intention is to help them out, I would hold off for a few weeks.  Spelling is pretty, well, commonplace, and could be a good chance they will catch it and fix it in the order of many competing priorities.  If, not, then bring it up following excellent approaches mentioned here.

If your intention is to make sure the town doesn't look bad, well, then point it out.

Madeleine's picture
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The intention was both - right now they look bad because tourists don't know they just opened. The assumption will be they either don't know better or they don't care. And a lot of people think this is a hick town to start with. The menus aren't helping dispel that.

All three places were opened by seasoned restaurateurs, not newbies. They should know better.

Madeleine's picture
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Off on another tack here...recently we have also had new stores open and old stores try new marketing schemes. So, 2 different places have brought by bags of goodies for me to hand out to guests. Kind of nice of them to do this but... nothing is labeled. The last one a kid showed up at the door and said hi mom wanted us to hand these things out to the guests. As it is an art store I figured it would be something recognizable. No, they also do 'home made' beauty products. So, here I am with a bagful of ? I don't know. It looks like salt with herbs in it. I haven't opened them, I won't hand them out and now I will bring them back and explain why.

Same thing happened with another place. Wanted me to hand out unlabeled bottles of what? As I guest I would assume if that was in my room that housekeeping was slacking off.

BIG name preppy apparel place asked me if I would hand out coupons to their store. Sure, no problem, they've been good to us and the mgr is a nice, helpful guy.

Every guest who has mentioned using the coupon (and buying a nice shirt or sweater for $5!!!) has said the clerks had no idea there was such a coupon out there. This has been going on for 2.5 weeks. So, it seems the same people do not work each week.

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I wonder what these businesses are thinking. Not only can you not hand out unlabeled stuff but it also does the business no good as they are not providing the label with their business NAME.  Surely they are not expecting you to stand there and hand out this 'stuff' and say that this came from XYZ business and you can find them at 123 Main Street!!  On second thought, I think this is exactly what they are expecting!crying

Breakfast Diva's picture
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It's amazing how many people open a business and have no clue! Next thing you know, the business is closed down and they're blaming the economy. It's just rampant in our small towns.

A couple of weeks ago I specifically went to our local farmer's market which is more of a craft fair, since there's not much farm produce to be found there. I wanted to introduce myself to a local potter who sells at this farmer's market. I had been following him on FB for awhile. Sooo, I introduce myself, tell him I would like to feature/sell some of his items in my gift pantry and/or send guests to his 'shop'. I get a whole long sob story about how he just does this part time but would love to go full time with it, he doesn't have a shop/store and won't do anything on commission. He doesn't offer any wholesale price, so his $20 coffee mug, I would have to buy for $20 and then add some % on top of that. Oh, and he would not create any special item just for us.

WHAT?!?! Are you kidding? There's no way I would do that. So, I'm not going to promote his 'business' and I won't buy any of his stuff. This guy will never be able to be full time with his small thinking.

Do you think they look at the successful businesses and think that they're making it just because they're lucky?

gillumhouse's picture
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Do you think they look at the successful businesses and think that they're making it just because they're lucky?

No, you do not work so you just must be rich. YOU are correct, small minds will never see the "big picture" nor how to  get to the future having a future. He is just a victim who cannot make it in the current economy (not any economy but he will not wee it that way).

During the several years I was waiting for my potter to get back to potting (too many sick family members!!), I approached a more local potter about making my style mugs. Nope, he only made what he wanted to make - his style that was just too clunky and 18th century for what I needed. He lost. Thankfully, my potter is back to work - sort of. Sigh!

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Maddie, you may need to call or speak with them in person.  I have run across so many businesses that have email addresses but never read the emails.  Or what if your message went to spam - we know most people do not read those. 

I have emailed many local businesses and have gotten in the habit of using the return receipt/del. notif. on emails to such that I want to make sure they were seen. 

It still doesn't mean they will listen, but you gave it your best shot!   We met with one of our local attractions here after having many guest tell us how rude the ticket office was.  The owner then turned on us with the same tone we had been told about. They are now getting pounded on TA and we direct our guests to a competitor.  You can't fix stupid!

gillumhouse's picture
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You can't fix stupid!

You can but unfortunately it is illegal and carries a stiff to permanent sentence. :He needed killin' no longer is recognized as justifiable.

Generic's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

You can't fix stupid!

You can but unfortunately it is illegal and carries a stiff to permanent sentence. :He needed killin' no longer is recognized as justifiable.

Yes you can. 

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gillumhouse's picture
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Good one! But by the time they are identified, it is too late - they have already reproduced!!!

Ice
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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

gillumhouse wrote:

You can't fix stupid!

You can but unfortunately it is illegal and carries a stiff to permanent sentence. :He needed killin' no longer is recognized as justifiable.

Yes you can. 

surprise

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gillumhouse's picture
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I would say something to the Manager on Duty when I was in the restaurant. I would put it that someone forgot to spell check the menu and you care enough to point it out because you know people will notice. You want them to succeed and spelling and grammar DO count with the people who will be their clientele.

Arks's picture
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You will be addressed as "y'all" at our local restaurants because we don't currently have anything upscale. More like Mel's Diner on the old sitcom "Alice".

But they're currently working on the place right across the street from my guesthouse, to put in an Italian restaurant, perhaps with a liquor permit. Fingers crossed!!!

Madeleine's picture
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If everyone here said 'you guys' it would be one thing. But it's only this one place right now. And it was so unexpected it really bothered me.

Joey Camb's picture
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id say something - maybe send an email or letter if you didn't want to say it in person - would not however if have otherwise had a good experience do a mention on tripadviser

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I would say something. Maybe just go pull the manager aside and say something like " I really enjoyed the food, but I noticed alot of spelling and grammar errors on the menu and I thought I should tell you about them"

See how they react and if they accept willingly maybe you could say more. If they had good food and good service, then you will be helping them. Oh and tell them that too.

Madeleine's picture
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That's what I thought. So, I emailed the GM at the first place a month ago. Never heard back and nothing changed. So I guess they don't care. And they are still calling everyone 'you guys'. And, no, it is not a sports bar it's high end (price-wise and decor-wise).

They are all figuring to make a go on the tourist trade when it's the locals who will keep them open all year.

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"you guy"  I hate that at restaurants. Obviously not given any training either Sad

Joey Camb's picture
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our restaurants have found a way round this 2 sets of menu's each marked with a symbol (1) with slightly cheaper price for locals and (2) for conference delegates with the more pricy items on and a bit higher price

keeps the regulars happy and allows them to cream the out of towners

I don't approve but its one way of getting round it

Arks's picture
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It may be related to the overall deterioration in spelling and grammar we're seeing as a result of texting, which has made it acceptable, to many, to forget the rules, or never learn them, all in the name of speedy communication.

I can't stand it. Eric, do you know if the same thing is happening to French? Would they stand for such a thing? I'll call for the guillotine, if I could spell it.

Generic's picture
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Say something. Your intentions are good. If they don't appreciate it, you don't have to worry, you did your best.

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