What’s in a review: (from the restaurants prospective)


In this day and age of heavy social media presence everyone has the opportunity to be "The Critic".All businesses (especially small) pay attention to this, but none are as heavily impacted as the hospitality industry. Positive and negative comments can make or break a small business and can come from a variety of areas.A few of the examples of these for restaurants are Google, Trip Advisor, Yelp, Next Door, Facebook, and even within Facebook there can be restaurant review groups for certain areas.

Interestingly, before social media existed restaurants usually only concerned themselves with a reviewer (food critic- columnist) whose job it was to candidly seek out and review restaurants in their area.They usually either worked for a local newspaper or city -based magazine. Their one or two visits, and single opinion would have a significant impact on the location being reviewed.Now you have the ability to find out about a restaurant based on a multitude of different people and dining experiences.From a restaurant stand-point I think the latter is a much better and more honest representation. Like everything else it has both its pros and cons.A review can be very subjective and because every person's taste varies, no restaurant will be a perfect fit for everyone. I was recently asked my opinion about the craze of guests photo'ing their food at the table and I honestly think it's great.I have always preached that "the eyes eat before the mouth" so if a dish looks great enough to get a photo it means that we did our job on presentation!Also, that person is usually putting the pictures on social; media which is great advertising for the restaurant.

I have a couple of observations from the restaurant owner/ chef's perspective. If something negative occurs it is my belief that you should first reach out to the manager or owner and give them an opportunity to make it right.If they don't then they deserve a negative public comment.I would hope in most instances any small business owner would work hard to keep a guest happy. Also, I have often seen the following comment- "This place is a hidden gem I almost don't want people to find out about it" – all of us who get this comment do consider it a huge compliment, but if we don't eventually get found out and busier, we will almost always eventually cease to exist.Last, when giving a review if there is something negative it is much better to articulate a concern.Generalizations, and one word dismisses (like the term "meh") do not tell us where we lacked or allow us to better our operation.

Remember that you actually have the ability to help or hurt the next place you visit.Small businesses have always relied on Word of Mouth and social media has definitely turned that into a whole new ball game!

Pesto Bistro and Wine Bar is a quaint Italian restaurant with French, and Mediterranean influences. It features entertainment on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre monthly.

It is located 3 miles East of Anna Maria Island on Cortez Road.

Joe Rimer, Chef/ Owner
Alumni- Culinary Institute of America 

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“Being Inspired” by Chef/Owner Joe Rimer
Origins and Culinary Fusion


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Wednesday, 19 June 2024