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Jul 19, 2012 09:32 AM

Owners should have a say

Many other sites like this, such as Trip Advisor, allow the restaurant owner to respond to criticism as well a positive feedback. On our site, one of the people who posted had snarky remarks to make against our guests and the thread went off topic of food discussion. The posts also began 2 months after we opened and the comments made are still posted, although they are 2 years old! It is sites like this that can really harm small business owners, especially restaurants that now receive so many positive accolades and comments on various other sites. The catering more to those who have the ability to harm a business is a little ridiculous. Owners should be able to communicate through this site as well. I even had the "pleasure" of waiting on one of the people who posted comments. I asked at meal time the usual "are you enjoying everything", and when that person looks you in the eye and says everything is great, good, fine, but then posts negative comments, it is a truly coward thing to do. Give the restaurant a chance to rectify the situation at the time, instead of hiding behind a user name.

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  1. what's wrong with creating an account and replying like you just did? I have seen numerous restaurants post replies in threads about them.

    5 Replies
    1. re: TeRReT

      It seems as though if you make any comment in defense, it is removed, especially if you are a new poster. One reply by someone who was not accociated with the restaurant was removed because he/ she challenged another person regarding the amount of time the restaurant was open vs. when it should be acceptable to truly judge that restaurant.

      1. re: threebears

        Chowhound has no rules regarding how long a restaurant should be open before it's acceptable to post about it. We do, however, have a rule disallowing posters from telling other posters how they should be posting. Our rule is rate the chow, not the Chowhound.

        1. re: The Chowhound Team

          I just want to tell you I don't think this post is appropriate and I think you should take a completely different approach when you are having discussions with other users. (joke!! joke!! relax I'm just kidding)

          Anywho......I actually had a post removed because I gave full disclosure I was "friends" with the manager and it was a new restaurant so I wanted to give my friend my support and give it a try. I disclosed that and I wrote a full review of the good/bad/ and everything in between. I was told the post wasn't appropriate because I knew the manager. I respect that but I think it was a little silly.....since I was just being honest. If I wrote it was the best meal, service etc. and it didn't seem like I was being impartial I could see it. Hey it is what it's a great site I enjoy contributing to so I respect and try to play by the rules!!

        2. re: threebears

          @threebears, Im sympathetic with your worry but the fact is on those other sites, the responses by restaurant owners are usually pretty pointless since every owner will express concern and say they bend over backwards to serve customers well. Also on those sites, there becomes a dynamic of restauranteurs responding to any critical post, which shifts the feel of the discussion. Those other sites aren't as good as screening for shills and competitor bashing.

          The online opinion of your restaurant will be determined by eaters and having a discussion dominated by eater opinion (with shills and haters screened to the best of the sites ability), is the best way for that opinion to be accurate and useful.

          Finally, most of us have a pretty good idea when a poster is being unreasonably cranky , especially when a restaurant is new and many of us will step in and defend new places.

        3. re: TeRReT

          Whats wrong with it is that CH doesn't allow it, and generally removes those posts.

        4. Chowhound is a diner-to-diner conversation. We do allow restaurant owners to participate under very limited circumstances (described in our Etiquette: ), but for the most part, we ask that business owners take a step back from the conversation here. We're not an appropriate place for you to conduct customer service or promote your business.

          1. Threebears, this thread is not a place for you to talk about all the issues with individual posters that we wouldn't allow you to post about in the thread about your restaurant. Calling them out here is no more acceptable than doing it there.

            1. I personally hate it when restaurant owners post and I've actually stopped eating at a couple restaurants because of it. If you want direct dialogue with reviewers go to yelp and if you want direct dialogue with fans start a facebook page. People on Chowhound are pretty smart and know when to disregard a review/reviewer.

              1. Tripadvisor has owners posting gadzillion fake reviews of their own places and retaliating against honest reviewers with spurious lies and accusations. TA staff don't act against such posts even when proof is provided. CH polices for integrity relentlessly.

                If you are providing a good atmosphere and food, a couple of rough posts will NOT hurt your business. All you have to do is gain word of mouth and good reviews with a good dining experience over time.

                In fact, if you're still in business after two years and ALL your other reviews are flawless, one has to wonder why you're so worried about CH policy against restaurant owners posting either as themselves or as fake reviewers?