The Daily Rail: This Is How NOT to Respond to a Bad Review

Friday, October 13, 2017


Today's Specials:


BUSINESS: Video Distribution in Restaurants and Sports Bars [Sponsored by Audio Everywhere]

Audio Everywhere recently examined techniques for the companion challenge of video distribution. In Part 1, they explored five typical configurations. In this follow-up, they evaluate the pros and cons of each and how they can work for your restaurant.



Dollaritas Too Good to be True

Applebee’s made headlines when they announced their $1 margarita deals, but a recent video has surfaced on social media showing it might have been too good to be true. In the video, a bartender is shown making a large batch of Applebee’s margarita mix that, yes, contains mostly tap water. See the sad snap-story here.

Late night confession from an @applebees bartender. #dollarita #applebees

A post shared by bitchywaiter (@bitchywaiter) on


They Have The (Deer) Meats!

Last year Arby’s launched a venison sandwich in select locations that sold out shockingly fast. Now on October 21, all Arby’s restaurants nationwide will offer the deer meat sandwich while supplies last. The chain will also offer an elk sandwich available only on Oct 21 in three locations. It must be hunting season.


No Longer a Boys Club

The Boy Scouts of America have announced that they will now admit girls in the club to achieve the same high rank as boys. Under the new rules, girls can join the cub scouts at a young age and eventually graduate as Eagle Scouts. Hello progression, nice to meet you.



Why it matters to you: This is how NOT to respond to a negative online review.

Sometimes restaurant operators can lose their cool when they see a bad review online, especially when the problems were never raised with management beforehand. This is the problem that contributed to a Florida restaurant’s public relations nightmare after an owner insulted and interrogated an unjust online review.

The customer wrote a scathing review of the restaurant that criticized the food, service, and décor while not alerting management to the issues. An owner of the establishment responded to the comments by telling the customer to “get a life,” which was only beginning of the problem. She then uploaded a picture from the customer’s friend’s Facebook page criticizing his friends.

“This is the kind person you hang out with, this is the kind of restaurant you work at so you really don’t have a say on what good food is,” the comment read. Working in the restaurant industry, we are all very aware of the difficult customers that will never be pleased. This is a textbook version of how not to respond to a negative review and proves that this operator was in the heat of the moment and fighting fire with fire. The owner of the restaurant admitted she made a mistake and regrets losing her cool. Restaurants are bound to get negative reviews, some untrue, but it’s how owners deal with them that can help avoid a PR firestorm.



Why it matters to you: If successful, this suit will mean customers can control how you manage your operations.

Class action lawsuits are a rare thing in the world of litigation. They are difficult to get certified and normally include a single entity. Not so with an Anti No-Tipping Policy suit filed by a man named Timothy Brown who claims, “Participating restaurants and a compliant media have portrayed the no-tipping higher prices movement as intended to promote social justice and equality, while the real aim and effect is greater profit at the expense of workers and consumers.” We have exhaustively covered the controversy surrounding no tipping policies (good and bad) on The Daily Rail and recognize it’s a contentious issue, but this guy has taken it to a really dark place.

First, who does he think he is trying to tell operators what policies they can and can’t execute?

Second, there is simply no way this will be proven a “conspiracy” in any court. Operators like Danny Meyer and Tom Colicchio might commiserate about issues in the business, but the likelihood they are engaged in anything that even remotely resembles collusion is patently absurd. Meyer’s response was his typically classy style, “We undertook the challenging and lonely journey of introducing Hospitality Included to create clear and transparent growth paths for our people, while beginning to address the decades-long growth of inequality among restaurant professionals.”

Once in a while, the customer just ain’t right and this is absolutely one of them.