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When is it OK to trash a restaurant online?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
So, a question...


What do you think of someone who goes to a restaurant and has a problem with the food served. The person does not say a word to their waitress or to management. But then they go home and write a trashing review on Yelp or another similar site.
post #2 of 16
I've written many colorfully negative reviews on Yelp. All were justified and therapeutic. It's effectively a "positive" review for every restaurant it competes with, so it's not like you're really doing damage to peoples' businesses in aggregate. The more truthful reviews there are (good or bad), the quicker and more efficiently people can find restaurants that are good, and avoid the ones that aren't, so it's very beneficial to the economy of worthy small businesses on the whole to say something.
post #3 of 16
I usually won't trash if the food sucks unless the food wasn't fresh, there were bugs running around, or place wasn't clean. I will trash a restaurant if the service sucks though or if the owner/manager is rude.
post #4 of 16
If you can't say it to the restaurant, don't put it online. You say something that evening and the restaurant will havd heard you. No promise of change but better odds. You don't and they go on making those mistakes.

I review on my blog. I have never once written negatively of something without talking to the producer or purveyor first.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
What I seem to notice of late is that people have a bad experience, and instead of trying to get it corrected they just start to write a trashing review in their heads, as if to think "Well...I will show THEM for not having enough dressing on the salad!"
post #6 of 16
Yelp is filled with many wannabe resturant critics, so much so that it's no longer very helpful.
post #7 of 16

Also filled with poseurs and trend-whores. The odd good review still exists.

 

My reviews are generally positive, or if negative, are about how the food tasted to me. If there is something actually wrong I won't post about it without first speaking to the management. IOW, I don't feel the need to confront staff with an explanation of why I thought the chicken was bland; that I might Yelp, but I wouldn't Yelp that my chicken was raw without attempting to resolve it with the staff.

 

~ H
 

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDaniels View Post

What I seem to notice of late is that people have a bad experience, and instead of trying to get it corrected they just start to write a trashing review in their heads, as if to think "Well...I will show THEM for not having enough dressing on the salad!"

Most of the time, the things I hate about restaurants are things they can't fix. They're part of the restaurant's vain culture, and damning it to hell is easier than being helpful. Since most of the restaurants I review are in Brooklyn anyway, the failures are not for a lack of trying, but rather the glaring absurdities of their efforts.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenHero View Post

Most of the time, the things I hate about restaurants are things they can't fix. They're part of the restaurant's vain culture, and damning it to hell is easier than being helpful.

+1. Who the hell would to 'talk to the management' if their food came out unremarkable or the atmosphere sucked? It's not our responsibility. I'm not going to embarrass my date or dinner guest by complaining to the waiter, asking to see the manager, etc. If it's something really terrible like uncooked meat or a hair, I'll just tell them as I'm walking out the door without paying.

The way I see it, restaurants aren't really entitled to second chances since honestly the concept isn't that hard- design a menu where the food can consistently come out good (even if the cook is having a bad day or the servers are slow), and set up the seating to be comfortable. Don't cram guests next to each other or next to a bathroom, and don't put unremarkable bland food on the menu if there are specific dishes you're good at. If the owner was dumb enough to let those things happen in the first place, there's probably an inherent lack of ability to ever fix it.
post #10 of 16
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post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Fair enough Sven, but should we respond by not returning to the establishment and telling our close friends we had a bad experience, or must we post a trashing review for all to see?
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Svenn View Post

+1. Who the hell would to 'talk to the management' if their food came out unremarkable or the atmosphere sucked? It's not our responsibility. I'm not going to embarrass my date or dinner guest by complaining to the waiter, asking to see the manager, etc. If it's something really terrible like uncooked meat or a hair, I'll just tell them as I'm walking out the door without paying.

The way I see it, restaurants aren't really entitled to second chances since honestly the concept isn't that hard- design a menu where the food can consistently come out good (even if the cook is having a bad day or the servers are slow), and set up the seating to be comfortable. Don't cram guests next to each other or next to a bathroom, and don't put unremarkable bland food on the menu if there are specific dishes you're good at. If the owner was dumb enough to let those things happen in the first place, there's probably an inherent lack of ability to ever fix it.

Fair opinion- but that is a different discussion than "I just had to say something so I did it behind the veil of the internet".
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Svenn View Post


...., I'll just tell them as I'm walking out the door without paying.


.

How do you avoid being arrested? That's theft of service...
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
It depends...I once walked out of a Chinese restaurant after they sent out first the wrong appetizer and then the wrong entree....but I did not eat either.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDaniels View Post

Fair enough Sven, but should we respond by not returning to the establishment and telling our close friends we had a bad experience, or must we post a trashing review for all to see?

I agree, it depends what we mean by trashing though. There are certainly a lot of unnecessary, erratic reviewers out there who will post arbitrary or unreasonable complaints, but they're usually transparent as such. However the 'I was slightly underwhelmed' reviews are valid and fair too. If a place advertises itself as 'from-scratch' Thai, and the curry was decent but obviously from a can, people should post that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dks202 View Post

How do you avoid being arrested? That's theft of service...

Or is it assault through food poisoning? It's only happened once, and they were more than understanding.

I don't buy into the inane American habit of identifying with service industry, that sort of feigned egalitarianism that we should 'understand' the servers and buddy up with the management. It doesn't create better establishments, it just creates self-entitled employees and lackadaisical owners. At work I have clients that I work for, and that's exactly what I do, I don't expect 25% tips or a vast internet forum discussion about how fair the reviews of my work are wink.gif
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