As editor for Whine & Dine, I frequently interact with restaurant owners and managers. When confronted with a letter critical of their business, most jump at the opportunity to respond.
My counsel to them is that less is more. Say you’re sorry and pledge to do better. Playing point/counterpoint often makes the management look defensive and can be off-putting.
Or just plain entertaining.
Take Alex M., the owner of Cafe Luxor Hookah Bar & Grill on Washington Ave. While I haven’t received any letters -- raves or rants -- about Cafe Luxor, I have enjoyed Alex M.’s defense of his business on Yelp.
Take for example these rebuttals:
Dear Jennifer, you know very well that you have never been to our restaurant to be able to judge us for our service or food or to give proper feedback, you mentioned your self that you have NEVER been our customer that night, I remember you very well with your white Jeep and we were not yelling at you although you were using maximum profanity.
"There is no guaranteed formula for success but the only sure formula for failure is to try to please everyone so we have focused on the majority of our guest's needs rather than a few handful of guests requests and demands that would jeopardize the quality of our service and products."
"In addition we DO NOT have any sausage of any kind on our menu! we have "soosis" which is a special Persian/Armenian product which looks just like hotdog but it is specially spiced gourmet meat/hot dog without any byproducts in it and that is what come on our Pizzas, I guess I wanted us to be different and sometimes we get caught in the clash of cultures, LOL"
Alex M. is a repeat defender on the Yelp, where comments range from “STAY AWAY!!!” to “BE WARNED........EAT BEFORE YOU GET THERE!”
And if you’ve got an extra few minutes, be sure to check out the filtered comments.
Got a favorite Yelp thread? Share it in the comments.