I came across something this week that caught my attention. I’m still not sure if its serious or a parody. Watch and you can be the judge.  {The ReviewerCard}

Every chef or restaurant owner knows the feeling that comes from a negative reviewer.  It stings to know that we didn’t live up to our goal of making people happy.  But the most helpful kind of feedback you can receive is negative.  I’m not saying you need to feel good about it, but a glowing review only makes you feel delighted, it doesn’t show you anything to improve upon.

To any business owner, I would encourage you to do regular Google searches of your business name.  If you own a restaurant, you will want to check Yelp, TripAdvisor, Urbanspoon and other sites to see what people are saying about you.  It’s a bad feeling is to see a negative review on one of these sites.  The heart sinks a little bit.  You beat yourself up, wondering why you’re in the business in the first place.  But before you spiral out of control even further, you have to stop and ask if they have a point.

First and foremost – Don’t be defensive.  The instinct of defense kicks in when one’s security feels threatened.  If you are secure in your vision, secure in your business plan, there should be no reason for you to be threatened by the negative comment. You are the keeper of the vision, the books, the inventory and the payroll.  You know what’s required to run your business.  It’s your choice what to put on the menu or not.  You set the price because you know how much you’ve got to earn to stay solvent.  Most people don’t understand these kinds of details in business. Don’t expect your customer to know what you know about the internal workings of your place. Expect them to judge based upon their parameters, not yours.

Listen to what the reviewer has to say and see if there is any truth in it.  Was the food cold? Then fix it.  Was the server rude? Find out who gave the bad service.  You can’t get better if you don’t know where the problems are.


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