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Articles >> Restaurant Reviews articles > Restaurateurs vs. Customers: An Ongoing Saga!

Restaurateurs vs. Customers: An Ongoing Saga!

Restaurateurs vs. Customers: An Ongoing Saga!
Who needs food critics anymore when we have Facebook - the single source of any information about anything at anytime!!! When your barely open establishment is reviewed; praised or critiqued more frequently than you can keep up with what do you do? Do you painstakingly respond to each individual comment good or bad, or do you merely sift through them opting only to reply to select remarks.
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  • Who needs food critics anymore when we have Facebook - the single source of any information about anything at anytime!!! When your barely open establishment is reviewed; praised or critiqued more frequently than you can keep up with what do you do? Do you painstakingly respond to each individual comment good or bad, or do you merely sift through them opting only to reply to select remarks.

  • I read a comment recently on SWOT’s guide for Karachi’s Restaurants, Cafes, Dhabas, Khokas and take-outs in which a valid point was raised. Someone asked all SWOT readers why they expect restaurant owners to respond to their every concern, comment or remark made addressing their establishment. Are restaurateurs sitting around biting their nails in eager anticipation of the next review or are they knee deep in their routine operating activities exploring innovative new techniques in food preparation and service. After all who has the time to read let alone respond to customer feedback?

  • While I agree in part, that owners/managers do not have to respond to every single comment, they do have a responsibility to acknowledge and respond to feedback especially when the customer is narrating a particularly adverse experience. The hospitality industry caters to the public. When you open an eatery. Fancy or not you are putting yourself out there making yourself and your establishment vulnerable to public scrutiny and whether you like it or not, criticism.

  • And let’s be honest who doesn’t want a positive review. The negative ones not so much, but far be it from the customer to shy away, and that too in a purpose built forum such as SWOT or good food guide Pakistan to name a few. Social media has taken the world by storm. Pages such as the above offer immediate solution to many of our food related quandaries and have been established for ‘foodies’ to participate in active dialogue on new and old establishments and share their expectations and experiences regarding the quality of food, service, pricing, ambiance and overall experience on offer. I for one recently used SWOT to research, scope out, identify and finally employ a caterer to bake a super delicious giant cupcake for my daughter’s birthday on a one-day notice. SWOT proved incredibly useful and I was absolutely thrilled with the product, which I then advocated on the same medium. These pages have been created to provide a platform where foodies and restaurateurs both stand to benefit. There is no doubt that there are individuals out there with the sole aim to discredit and malign an individual or their establishment we have all witnessed multiple examples of this. But we mustn’t forget that there are also those who do know about food and have a mature and experienced palate and whose comments and feedback is much appreciated. Also, one cannot underestimate the value of social media as an aid to conceiving new ideas!

  • What restaurateurs do need to understand here is that while they or most of them any way have done their homework and are indeed qualified in the culinary world in which they dabble, customer relationship management or CRM as it’s more commonly known cannot be undervalued. At the end of the day an eatery’s best publicity is word of mouth advertising.

  • I must state here that I also agree with the point stating that Swotties or readers do tend to make unnecessarily harsh remarks. Why is that? Is it because of a personal vendetta or because they have truly had a bad experience or simply because they feel that the establishment can do better and are actually attempting to be helpful?! Has anyone thought about that?

  • Feedback is always good! Even when we critique, the aim is it that it leads to innovation and improvement. When we let emotions blur our perspective we are unable to view criticism as constructive. At the same time however, we have to take responsibility for our actions. If you genuinely want to help, you’ll figure out how to phrase it so it’s acceptable to and productive for others! In the fast-paced public community in which we live, there is no room for arrogance; it is only self destructive. If you have a truly horrific experience do share it with the owner but make it count; be constructive and if you can’t be even remotely diplomatic about it publicly but must convey your comments, perhaps send a personal message instead.

  • There is no definite response here. Restaurateurs have to toughen themselves to reality. Granted people often lack tact, but at the end of the day you know the comments are being read by most of your target market and you are aware of how destructive negative feedback can be. Be smart, take the upper hand and respond politely. Don’t engage in lengthy dialogue and step back if things do become uncomfortable. After all, most of you probably have someone reading and sifting through the comments for you anyway.

  • For the foodies, your feedback is valuable; for the restaurateurs and for the rest of us restaurant goers. It is also definitely super entertaining! But again, if it’s personal keep it personal. If you want your feedback to make a difference then make it count else remember we have somewhat limited choice in Pakistan for food and entertainment and so restaurateurs and social page creators we need you!

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