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Jun 18, 2009 01:15 PM

Restaurant Owner responses

I am curious what you folks think about whether an owner/manager responds to you or not.
If you email an owner/manager about an unsatisfactory experience, do you expect a response?

I did just this last October. I did not get a respponse from the person. I have done this a few times in the past and ALWAYS gotten a response.
Needless to say I was disappointed when the owner did not respond or consider what I had to say important enough to respond to.

This past week in a local internet story about the restaurant, I left a short comment saying I thought they were overrated and I had an unsatisfactory experience and got no response from management about it.

Well now, 8 months later, the owner emails me and says he thinks I owe them an apology for what I posted and proceeds to tell me why I was wrong about what I had emailed him 8 months ago.
One of the things I emailed them was that perhaps they could have more than 3 red wines. I did not think they were good and I could not pick one to get a bottle of.
So if my opinion is you should have more than three Italian Reds, how can that opinion be wrong? There IS no right or wrong....
But he managed to call me "lack of experience" in wine drinking the reason I did not understand his selection.
What do you guys think?


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  1. I absolutely expect to be contacted if I email an owner and am disappointed if I don't. This guy sounds like a complete a-hole! It'll be very interesting to follow updates on this place...With an owner like that, I don't see much longevity.

    1. The owner is out of line, and totally clueless as to the definition of "hospitality". I would consider posting another comment in the web venue where you posted your opinion, relating the harassing email you received and note that you and your friends and associates got his message loud and clear, and will all steer clear of his establishment.

      1. His response was definitely inappropriate, however without more info it's difficult to decide if his original no-response was rude. Was there more in your original letter than suggesting that they should have more than 3 red wines?

        2 Replies
        1. re: pollymerase

          Perhaps before we prepare to tar and feather this owner, we should consider that every story has two sides...After working in this industry for nearly 30 years, in all capacities, i have seen a few guests who simply must complain bitterly and spew non-helpful venom. I know that most owners work ridiculously hard to create what is essentially an extension of themselves and their neighborhood and would gladly address and rectify situations "gone bad". However, if FOTD sent an email that was insulting, aggressive, condescending and one in which the owner perceived as an "attack" of sorts, then no, those rude actions don't really require a civil reply (in my opinion). It is difficult to judge what exactly was stated in the original email, i suspect FOTD batters restaurant owners/servers often as he states in this post "i've done this several times". Just because a man or woman owns/works in a restaurant does not mean he must accept or be subjected to cruel and viscious criticism. Also, as i said after being in this business for so long, i can honestly say most of this type of behavior stems from folks who have never worked in the industry, which is fine, just my observation.
          My mantra is always to try to deal w/ the said problem, dissatisfaction, or error when it is taking place.... some folks tend to be more hateful behind their keyboard....

          1. re: burntsugar

            28¢ in postage on a postcard acknowledging receipt of the complaint is often enough to assuage 99% of the public. 41¢ and a letter addressing points from the complaint is even better but sometimes too difficult. (One owner I know can't write a complete sentence -- let alone a letter -- without going into cold sweats so he delegates this task to his accountant.)

            But, as you also point out, a minor amount of those complaints received are from cranks that have never worked in the industry. A postcard acknowledging receipt is still a good bit of PR.

        2. I'm confused, did you e-mail him directly or leave a post in some website's comments section? If it was the latter you're lucky you got a response at all. That's like dropping a letter on the ground and hoping the person it was meant for finds it and picks it up.
          As far as his response, I agree. A limited wine list is a valid criticism, and he should have said "Thank you for your input. Do you have any suggestions?"

          2 Replies
          1. re: ajs228

            I think initially there was a personal e-mail that was not responded to. Months later, a public comment by the OP in response to an internet story actually garnered a response from the owner. That's how i read it.

            1. re: iluvtennis

              That's how I read it too. iluvtennis has it right.

              To ignore your email and then to lambaste you for your posting is outrageous.
              I would definitely cut & paste his email to that same site with your original email. It speaks for itself.

              Your opinion is your opinion. It was not defamatory or "false". Owner has his opinion. To take you to task because you disagree is inexcuseable. Why not give us the restaurant's name?

          2. Dear Friend:
            My DH and I had a horrible experience at a restaurant that is a fave on this board. We were seated directly next to the kitchen, and had terrible service. After the order was taken, the server managed to slip our check on the table at about the 30 minute mark before we had even eaten. After we waited over 50 minutes for our breakfast but could not get the server to come to our table, we got up and left. She waived goodbye to us!
            I sent an email to the manager, and never received a reply. I sent a letter to the owner. Never received a reply. We waited six months and went back. We had a very similar negative experience. I again sent an email and a letter. Never heard a word from the owner or the manager. I did expect to be contacted by either the owner or the manager. I can't understand not contacting a customer that has a bad experience.
            The owner that you dealt with has no clue. He won't be in business for long.