I am very lucky in that I see things from both sides of the fence, my background has been entirely in Catering, working in establishments as diverse as the George V, Paris to my own pub in Weymouth. Now I spend far more time on the clients side of the table and see things from a different angle.. helping caterers with Catering Equipment.
I was reading some tweets between chefs commenting on how difficult clients were threatening the restaurant with Trip Advisor (TA)….. What a shame that a customer has to act in that way and should a difficult client been dealt with differently in the first place.
I know with TA that you will always get the opposition trying to “have a go” at your establishment; similarly how many times have you asked a friend or relative to give a glowing report!. What you end up with is “somewhere in the middle” where the majority of reports being very accurate. I have NEVER yet been to an establishment where this is not the case.
I therefore think that TA has revolutionised our industry, it has more of an effect than any of us realise, as it must, generally have improved standards. But, beware of any Restaurant, Bar or Hotel who does not take the comments seriously and act upon them…. as the effect is a reduction in clients in these difficult times.
A simple example … a friend of mine visited a restaurant recently, had a fantastic meal, perfect service but was charged £3 for 1/2 pint of post mix diet coke…. He will never go back, because he felt that he was being ripped off….. and far more importantly ….. how many others will be influenced by his comments? So we should all take the “middle ground” of TA very seriously, and act on its issues of concern. Post replies constructively to everyone