A Free Lesson to Restaurateurs in Navigating the New Media Landscape


The modern restaurant professional has concerns that their predecessors could not have even envisioned ten or fifteen years ago.  In that short a time span, the dining community has seen an explosion in the voices influencing where they spend their money.  Where once the newspaper and magazine critics were the nearly exclusive dispensers of media acclaim, now the interwebs are chockablock with message boards, on-line chats, and seemingly innumerable blogs about restaurants.

The smart manager/chef/owner becomes a member of these communities, participates in the forums, and skims the largely valuable feedback of core constituents – those with a sufficient passion for food to spend time writing about it for free.  There should be frequent google searches to identify blogged about experiences at your places of operation.  Use the good ones to motivate staff and the bad should be made whole as quickly and generously as is reasonable.

What you SHOULD NOT do is flame some anonymous blogger who identified and carefully articulated perceived shortcomings in your operation.  You should not be so sack-o-hammers stupid as to conduct such flaming from a traceable IP address that leads right back to you.  You should not have less understanding of this technology than a five year old and leave your real name in the email box.  And if you are to be so impossibly dense as to do all of those things, perhaps you might rethink doing it after clicking on the google search “My Restaurant, My City, Blogs.”

I am fairly certain about the authorship of the flaming comments, but I have consciously not named either you or your place in a display of the gentility you lacked in calling me a: Fucking Moron, Idiot, Cheap Bastard, and a Tool.  I will say that it is a good thing you don’t get paid for your literary skills.

I don’t think that readership of this blog is such that a few less than charitable words from me will seriously impact your business, but a press release just might.  Just in case you’re wondering, “YourRestaurantBlows.com” is an available domain and ungentlemanly behavior just might make me angry enough to spend enough cash for it to appear on the first page of google searches.  In other words, I know I don’t buy ink by the barrel, but you would still be mistaken to pick a fight with me.


13 Responses to A Free Lesson to Restaurateurs in Navigating the New Media Landscape

  1. Lemmonex says:

    HA! I got some lovely hate mail yesterday set from someone’s WORK. Now this person is not worth my time– won’t rat him out to his boss–but if it continues, I will. I could find him in about 5 minutes. People are idiots.

    Raving, misspelling, writing in ALL CAPS, technological idiots, yes.

  2. Oooo, fight! fight! fight!

    Only if I start dropping dimes, but that won’t happen without further provocation.

  3. freckledk says:

    Oh, I’m dying to know which restaurant this is.

    I can be bribed with bourbon.

  4. Sara says:

    Perhaps this is why they are currently teaching ‘new media literacy’ in public schools. Dumbass.

    New Media Literacy might have helped this guy, but an Etiquette lesson and good manners would have been most helpful.

  5. LiLu says:

    Well said, my dear. Truly, you should do reviews more often. The people have the power now…

    With the people’s power lies danger for abuse in unskilled hands.

  6. Power to the People!

    I agree with that sentiment but too many people are too careless with it.

  7. f.B says:

    Reasonable criticism is opportunity, not insult warranting boarish temper tantrums.

    And as soon I get a minute, I’m combing through your archives to see who this is.

    Reasonable criticism is only opportunity to reasonable people.

  8. Lisa says:

    You are absolutely right about what they should and shouldn’t do. What stupid behavior.

    Also, I would never pick a fight with you.

    There are some people who really don’t need to use a computer.

  9. lacochran says:

    With great power comes great responsibility. It’s not just for superheroes anymore.

    I doubt that the power of this little space could be referenced as great by any stretch of the imagination. However, the power of imagination in search of vengeance against the rude, that is not to be trifled with.

  10. ella says:

    his ignorance with technology is probably comparable to his ignorance in how to properly run a restaurant. we are given a certain set of skills in life and use them in all of our endeavors. his obviously are not grace and tact.

    Some extremely talented chefs have been living, breathing, arguments that grace and tact are not skills required to run a kitchen.

  11. you’ve gotta point a link to your review, and the comment. C’mon. You didn’t delete the comment, did you?

    Yes, I deleted the comments (but not the emails they generated;) and no, I will not point a link to either as it is impossible to determine with 100% accuracy that the comments were from a member of the management/ownership team or some bored busboy who is not authorized to speak for the organization. Gentility mandates the courtesy Visigoths don’t extend.

  12. As a former restaurant GM I recognize how invaluable criticism is- how else can you improve amid the sea of a billion other restaurants? And if you’re not looking to constantly improve on what you deliver, why bother being in business?
    If a company rep said this can you imagine how they deal with an on site customer complaint? Machete? Hot oil?

  13. Lazygal says:

    This also happens in the book world – authors not agreeing with a reader’s comments and then flaming them. http://j-kaye-book-blog.blogspot.com/2009/01/chris-grabenstein-negative-review.html (read the comments: said author was forced to apologize!)

    I read this to great amusement- thanks for the link.

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