Reviews, public reviews, they are a fact of life in the inn and restaurant business. We struggle about whether we should encourage them, does this seem pushy? Is it denying a fact of doing business of we don’t invite people to review us somewhere? (On one of the seemingly kagillion reviews sites there are….) It’s a dance with the devil either way as far as I’m concerned.
“From the moment you enter the door, Molly & her team do a great job anticipating your needs. Dining in the Gastro Pub on Chef Dominic’s creations is a treat for the senses – it’s little wonder why folks living or visiting in the area flock to the Shoreham for dining.”
“The hosts are very friendly and very accomodating. The wait staff at the pub were superb, friendly and very helpful. The room was spacious, clean and comfortable.”
“The dining area where we sat was small but not crowded. The food was outstanding. New York strip steak done exactly as asked — seems like that never happens anymore. Succulent pork tenderloin. I love the low key atmosphere. This place is not pretending to be anything other than what it is, a country inn with great food and good service.”
“The food I believe is overrated. I do not have a single bad thing to say about it. You will never ever get bad dish here. However I feel that the fact that it is one of the only quality restaurants in the area it gets accolades beyong what it deserves.”
“We did decide to have dessert because they had a peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting. Again, it was ok but tasted like something I could have made at home.”
I don’t think I need to explain how reading things like these last two make you feel like you’ve taken a serious one-two punch to the gut. I mean, maybe you’ve had a slightly less than stellar performance review at your job, but I bet it wasn’t published on the world wide web. Feedback is very welcome, we try to take it all on and make sense of the things we need to change, and we have made many, many changes over the years. We have apologized about mishaps, we have bought meal and drinks for unhappy people, we smile, we listen. We truly hate getting things wrong, but we do get them wrong. There are a lot of us, sometimes a lot of you, and we just can’t be exactly right all the time for every person.
I am not making excuses here at all. I’m trying to embrace this wide new, wide open, world we live in. I’m just musing on the whole online review situation. It’s a lot of power we all have as consumers. Its a whole lot of vulnerability we have as business owners. I guess I am asking you to understand the dread with which I read the notification ‘a new customer review has been posted on XXXX site!’
Despite knowing we can’t be perfect, you just can’t take the oldest-sibling-overachieving-perfectionist out of this girl.