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Feb 27, 2014 08:08 AM

Question regarding owners responding to posts.......................

I noticed on my local board that the management of a chain restaurant responded to a fairly negative review of a recently opened location with what seemed to be a polite and concerned response. They asked the reviewer to contact them/their management team to discuss her poor experience.

I notice the post by the management was taken down, removed by the Mods. I thought owners/managers etc. were allowed to post, respond to negative criticism, no?

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  1. Not really, nope. You can read the guidelines in the faq:

    If someone asks a question with a simple factual answer -- stuff like hours, ingredients in a dish, etc -- it's fine for them to answer, but Chowhound isn't a platform for restaurants to engage in customer service or counteract negative reports.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Jacquilynne

      Using Chowhound for customer service purposes (i.e. “Sorry you had a bad experience…”)

      Ha! You are correct Jacq, there it is in writing!! (not that I ever doubted you) I know you weren't suppose to shill etc. I also knew about no self promotion etc.......I didn't know you couldn't address bad reviews.

      If you don't mind me asking a follow up question; Why not allow owners to address complaints or bad reviews? Don't you think it would be a better tool than just allowing the negative comments to be left out there for eternity? I would think it would be nice to see ownership in motion, addressing complaints making changes etc? Is it the feeling of Chow that it could possible lead to people trying to falsely make bad reviews to possibly benefit from it? always thank you for the reply.

      1. re: jrvedivici

        For an owner to read a bad review, whether real or contrived, and not be able to respond, would be very frustrating.

        1. re: jrvedivici

          We're not really here to be a tool for restaurant owners. The feedback loop of 'if I complain loudly on Chowhound I might get more consideration' and 'I guess if they're going to say bad things about us on the internet we should do something to make them feel better' is also not a good one for the overall accuracy of what people post here.

          There are certainly restaurants that are interested in resolving every customer service problem they become aware of and sometimes a diner doesn't give them that chance at the time, so we can see why they'd want to get involved here. But we try to keep the conversation diner-to-diner, not restaurant-to-diner, and that means asking even well-meaning restaurateurs to step back from the conversation and let it happen without them being involved.

          1. re: Jacquilynne


            Maybe when we launch "The Jr. Board" we can discuss allowing owners to respond there.................ok, maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself. ;-)

            1. re: jrvedivici

              A comment ... the other forum that begins with Y and sounds like a dog squealing actually permits owners to directly message you, so if you want to receive feedback from the owner I would consider posting there.

              I am personally very glad that owners/employees are restricted from posting here. It keeps the area feeling like a community.

        2. re: Jacquilynne

          I definitely see the sense in that rule. But I'm wondering if in a case like the one jr describes if CH could notify the OP that the restaurant is trying to contact him/her. I'm guessing it doesn't happen often enough to be burdensome?

          1. re: c oliver

            It's funny because I actually wrote a harsh review of the same restaurant, so I was anxiously waiting go get my "kiss ass" email from management too! Other wise I probably wouldn't have paid much mind to it......but I did think it was very professionally done by the company and it seemed like a sincere interest in hearing what the OP had to say.

            I'm not complaining or trying to challenge any rules, was just curious.

            1. re: jrvedivici

              Re-post your negative review on Yelp. If management is in the business of responding to negative reviews, I'm almost certain they respond on there, as well. I've seen it a lot on there with restaurants I've been to.

              1. re: SaraAshley

                Thanks for the tip, I don't really have enough time to spend on another site so I'll have to pass. Plus do you really want to dilute the amount of time I have to share with you guys here?

                1. re: jrvedivici

                  Lol, of course not. But all you have to do is post your review on yelp and see if management replies. Takes only a couple mins! :)

                  1. re: SaraAshley

                    "But all you have to do is post your review on yelp and see if management replies."

                    Assuming it isn't "filtered" out by Yelp...