Is there any other industry where...

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customers feel SO entitled?
I mean, we all know how crushing social media can be to our business. One really bad review recently decimated a local small restaurant and they had to close the door.
I've seen TripAdvisor reviews complaining that it was raining on the day, so they gave the restaurant one star because the rain ruined their view out of the window! WTF???
"I'm so very sorry, ma'am, let me just go and call God to ask him to stop."

I've seen the deplorable rise of MasterChef viewers becoming armchair critics:
"Well, I'm not quite sure the lobster was the hero of this roll, and the umami was slightly lacking and it needed more acidity." It's a $4 sub, you douche!

Then:
"Me and all of the 10 other people in my party are gluten free with allergies to dairy, seafood, Siberian mountain goat and oxygen. We'll simply all DIE if we get any of that!"

I know we are hospitality, and it's really not within my genetic hospitality code to say No, but can you think of any other industry that would smile and tolerate the shitshow we put up with?
 
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It's truly frustrating sometimes, I agree. Eating is so subjective that there is almost no way to please 100% of your customers. I know no restaurant that has ever done that. The goal is to get as close to 100% as you can.

Everybody on the planet eats. Eating is something that everyone does everyday (except the poverty stricken) so people have ownership over what they put in their bodies. It also, unfortunately sometimes, makes people feel entitled and snotty when eating out.

Social media is a 2 edge sword because sometimes it helps...gets the word out, advertising, connections, etc. And obviously sometimes it allows people to vent their stupid BS in a way that makes them feel, again, entitled and superior.

But, restaurants aren't alone. Most retail jobs and sales jobs have to put up with the worst base levels of society as well. People feel entitled about everything--clothes, electronics, cars, appliances...all that stuff.

Cab drivers, custodians, nurses, police officers, firefighters...really, any job where you have to deal with the general public can be pretty bad. Really, honestly, it just boils down to...there are lots of bad and shitty people out there. In every walk of life and in every situation.
 
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customers feel SO entitled?
I mean, we all know how crushing social media can be to our business. One really bad review recently decimated a local small restaurant and they had to close the door.
I've seen TripAdvisor reviews complaining that it was raining on the day, so they gave the restaurant one star because the rain ruined their view out of the window! WTF???
"I'm so very sorry, ma'am, let me just go and call God to ask him to stop."

I've seen the deplorable rise of MasterChef viewers becoming armchair critics:
"Well, I'm not quite sure the lobster was the hero of this roll, and the umami was slightly lacking and it needed more acidity." It's a $4 sub, you douche!

Then:
"Me and all of the 10 other people in my party are gluten free with allergies to dairy, seafood, Siberian mountain goat and oxygen. We'll simply all DIE if we get any of that!"

I know we are hospitality, and it's really not within my genetic hospitality code to say No, but can you think of any other industry that would smile and tolerate the shitshow we put up with?


Yes actually.......taking care of celebrities.

But seriously, I've had my share. Just recently I catered an event that included vegetarians and Ciliacs.
The hosts got the card number wrong and I ended up being one vegetarian dish short. The person then instantly became a fish eater and ordered lobster tail instead. Had I not gotten the 5% over on the tails I would have not had that to serve either.
People!!!! Sheesh......
 
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I remember one of my customer bragging about the Chicken Parmigiana special we had one day. He was bragging to everyone how good it was. He came up to me and said thanks he loved the Chicken Parmigiana, it was right up their with the best he ever had. Just as good as Olive garden. I just smiled and walked away thinking "WOW! I finally made it, my cooking skills now match Olive Garden caliber". ........Go Figure! .......... When I read reviews on Yelp I take into account the people who write them. I get more out of the pictures than I do with the written reviews. I do like Chef to Chef recommendations. If another Chef is impressed with the food quality then it's usually pretty good.......As Chefs, we all appraciate what it takes to put out great food. In most cases I go back and compliment the Chef and his/her crew for giving me and my family a great food experience....ChefBillyB
 
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All service industries face the same issue that not all of their customers (1) have the same experience or (2) are complimentary in their reviews. One needs to take the best from each, whether it's ego gratification from the good reviews or ideas for improvement from the more critical reviews. Blowing them off as stupid or misguided is stupid or misguided.
 
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... and as someday said, there are some bad and shitty people out there... but I see them on both sides of the business so maybe a look into the mirror every once in a while is beneficial.
 
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Yes it happens in other types of work. I am a service advisor for a dealership and our pay is based off of a customer service rating ( how they grade us on there service) . We had a customer that came in for routine service and she waited in our lounge. she was talking to other guests in the lounge when one apparently told her we damaged there vehicle on a different visit. The customer listening received a survey and scored us bad based on someone else's service not hers.
 
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No, its not exclusive to the hospitslity industry, but we take more than our share of abuse.

Last month I picked up my bike from the local bikeshop, and the owner wanted to know how I dealt with bloggers. He (bike shop owner) had only been open a few months, and was swamped with bloggers wanting to "promote his business", but they all wanted cash, product, or service. I told him how to handle the situation: Verbally agree to the blogger's request with one condition- that the blogger MUST start his blog with the caveat "this blog is partially sponsered by "X" cycle shop". No one agreed to his request....

I'll never forget the first month after opening our choc&pastry shop, this women walks up to me and demands to know if I'm the owner. I groan inwardly and wait for it to come:
"I'm Mrs. Jane Doe and head of (local large elementary school two blocks down the road) fund raising commitee. The reason I tell the other parents not to shop here is because you don't support our school".
Nothing I or my partner could do to convince her that what she was doing was extortion. We let the cops do that....
Ah, sweet memories......
 
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... and I'll never forget the phone call I got from the owner a place I gave a less-than-favorable Yelp review. The owner recalled on his own the bad service and the conversation we had at the time, told me that he fired his bad employee, and offered to give me "an envelope with a little money" if I'd "act like a man". He said that several times but never said what exactly he wanted me to do... so I scratched my balls and thanked him for the call. There are a lot of jerks out there on both sides of a business but the good news is that a single person. I'm convinced that a bad owner can cause a business to fail but not convinced that a single bad customer review really has much impact... statistics tells the trends.
 
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Ah Yelp.... Yelp is many things, but it is firstly a business. And a business needs to make money. Money is made with advertising, and this is where the small businesses are important. Of course, you can also make make money by getting the small businesses to pay to have bad or mediocre reviews pulled, but I digress...

But what a business model, eh? You get volunteers to write reviews, post them without editing them, then hit up the businesses for advertising.
 
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No doubt there's some truth to that. But it doesn't negate the fact that many/most volunteer reviewers are simply reporting their experiences.
 
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BTW, Yelp reviews may not get edited but business owners (or anyone else, in fact) can request they be reviewed. And in my experience many that are reported are either deleted or moved to "not recommended". I know from experience... some of mine have been reported and deleted; others have been reported and supported.
 
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I don't know the corporate structure of Yelp, but can only guess that each City is a franchise or subsiduary.

You shared your experience with Yelp, now I'll share mine.
In our first year we get a request from a yelp reviewer, a booking is made for 1 pm. Reviewer shows up at 12:30, we explain we are just clearing the table and could you wait at the coffee bar untill we set up? Reviewer takes off like a bat out of hell and a few days later the "review" comes out. Four pages of dreck, complaining about the architecture of the building, the gentrification of the neighborhood, etc,. Not one wird about food, servuce ir beverages. Then again, how could they? The reviewer never stsyed longer than 3 minutes. I write into Yelp, asking them to pull the review as it does not deal with food, service, pricing, or any information a customer would want. Yelp responds saying that all reviews are checked by a very thorough computer program, no human editor needed, and reviews will not be pulled. A week later Yelp reviews the bakery down the street, sparse on details, giving only information that could be found on the Bakery's website. Except that Yelp misspelled the Bakery four times. I write in and tell them about the spelling. My name is changed without my knowledge or consent to a female first name and an Asian surname. About a week later I get "love bombed" by Yelp, offering me all kinds of deals on advertising rates. The four page review does not get pulled down or "hidden" I've never looked at a Yelp website ever since...

So I dunno, maybe its only the Vancouver Yelp chapter that has these "practices", I certainly hope so
 
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I once had a woman come in and thrown a tantrum because we didn't carry skim milk for her mocha (we do have 2%). It's worth noting that the Ghirardelli syrup our baristas put in the mocha has like 400 calories. Switching to skim from 2% would've made a negligible difference!

She blasted us on 4 different sites and our Facebook page. Luckily for us, the readers saw it exactly for what it was and she was blasted on all the sites. I was really surprised to see people react that way, but it certainly was satisfying to see!
 
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Yelp, Trip Advisor, or any other critique site is only as subjective as the person writing the review.
The sites are there to take or leave. They are no different the restaurant critiques writing a column in the paper.
 
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Not really, Chefross. A newspaper has a real, live, human editor and takes responsiblity for the content they write.

My point is that Yelp does not take responsibility for their product (ie the reviews), and hits up the very same businesses to generate income.
 
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Not really, Chefross. A newspaper has a real, live, human editor and takes responsiblity for the content they write.

My point is that Yelp does not take responsibility for their product (ie the reviews), and hits up the very same businesses to generate income.


Doesn't the critiques come by way of regular everyday people that patronize the place being critiqued?
The answer is yes. Whether Yelp does or does not print a critique good or bad is another issue altogether.

I realize your point but I am just pointing out that all of us, whether we place a critique on Trip Advisor or Yelp or any other site, we are all subjective and to that end, what you read on these sites are meaningless chatter.
 
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Doesn't the critiques come by way of regular everyday people that patronize the place being critiqued? I mean Yelp is not made up of soul-less drones right?
The answer is that yes, people do the critiquing.
Whether Yelp does or does not print a critique good or bad is another issue altogether.

I realize your point but I am just pointing out that all of us, whether we place a critique on Trip Advisor or Yelp or any other site, we are all subjective and to that end, what you read on these sites are meaningless chatter.
 
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I'm going to say that you are all correct. When I owned a place, started many years before the Internet existed, Yelp had only recently started and I only found out because they mailed me a sticker saying "People love us on Yelp". That was a nice thing to find out. Up until then I had no idea that such a website existed. For a while I kept up on the reviews, just to see if there were any obvious problems some one had but didn't tell us. While most reviews were positive, a few were subjectively bad and a few were such nonsense I didn't bother worrying about it.
A short time before we sold the place, I received a letter in the old fashioned mail. The sender wanted to let me know how bad his/her food was on their recent visit, citing day and time, in order to give me heads up in case I was unaware. They also let me know that they were a 35 year veteran of the industry and "not some old biddy looking to break your balls". Signed "Your best friend, a customer willing to write".
The best part is that my "best friend" did not provide a signature, no return address or phone number. No way to respond. Whoever it was never said a word while in the restaurant but took the time to write a detailed letter and spent the money for stamp and envelope to make sure I got it.
I still have the letter.
Anyway, what I took away from all of that was to keep my focus on maintaining and improving the standards for our food and service. Call me out of touch but I think that focusing on what anyone says in the internet reviews is a misdirection of your energies and takes your eye off the ball. If you keep the focus on the day to day practices of your restaurant, always looking for problems, maintaining high standards and working to improve them, you'll do fine. Develop a policy of your own that encourages people to voice their concerns while they are in the restaurant and you can do something about them immediately.
If you've done all you can to insure a great experience for everyone while they are in house, then you've done all you can. Before the internet, people still talked about their restaurant experiences, good and bad and the people they talked to knew to consider the source. Now the internet is no different.
It may come on an expensive piece of electronics, but it's still pointless gossip.
 
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