It has been commented by some that I never write negative reviews, so therefore I may not be not be a trustworthy blogger. I did discuss this with my writing class tutor and classmates a while back who all agreed if someone never writes anything negative, how can they be believed? I actually agree with this statement, however, this is not quite true with regards to my reviews. I do write constructive criticism of a restaurant where I feel it is needed and it is a restaurant I want to write about. It is usually a restaurant that I have liked something about. For example, slow service but great food. Great service but mediocre food etc. I do probably try to put more of a positive slant on my negativity but I do put it in there if you read closely. My preference is not to be a Debbie Downer because if I really didn’t like something I would probably not shut up about it and my little happy caricature at the top of my page would have a frowny face and no-one wants that.
Restaurants that I have had an awful experience at may have been going through something I am not aware of. A staff change, new chef, new menu and I do not want to be the one to judge so negatively on something in the written word for everyone to read for as long as it stays online. I will however, speak directly to the restaurant about any such “bad” service and make my point be known in a courteous way. I do in fact have a few little peccadilloes that my friends make fun of. I do not like sitting in drafts, close to doors that constantly open or near bathrooms. I am funny about the temperature of wine and butter that can nearly break your knife in half. I will happily ask to be moved, I will speak to a manager about poor service and I will return a dish if it is inedible. These can all be done in person and in a nice way. I am not saying I have not had service that has made me so mad, I have wanted the whole world to know about it, but I choose to breath, wait 24 hours and rethink.
I did once write an absolutely horrendous review about a hotel in England on TripAdvisor and the guilt is still with me today. I felt so strongly about the poor service I went online and did it immediately and without thinking as I didn’t want anyone else to book this particular hotel – it would seem vengeance was on my mind. When I went back to read it a while later I realized I had written the review in the moment and it served no purpose except to be horrible about the hotel and my personal experience. I have since taken the review down.
Before I share this quote I want to point out that I love Yelp and post all of my reviews on there in some format or another and I tend to go to it for points of reference on places I have not been to in order to get an idea of what people think. It tends to not totally put me off if there are more than a few unenthusiastic comments but I move forward with caution based on what I have read. My friend sent this to me a few weeks ago… From UrbanDictionary.com “Yelpie: a 20-30 something with really bad taste in food that thinks they can discern the nuances in fine wine and cheese etc and writes a useless review on Yelp. “This restaurant is horrible and catered for yelpies.” While this is somewhat funny and a bit of an extreme point of view of a “Yelpie” it does point out the fact that reviews can be filled with such off-putting and sometimes unhelpful comments, it can be difficult to read, which is why I err on the side of positivity.
I read a lot of extremely cruel reviews about a restaurant I had made reservations for in Vegas for my sister’s birthday. Sadly, I chose to ignore them as the reviews put me off the reviewers and not the restaurant itself. It felt that the restaurant was being ganged up on with negative review after negative review. I can now agree with the reviewers after my dining experience, so there is a point to sheer honesty in the freedom of speech but where do you draw the “angry” line.
If a restaurant truly is terrible on multiple levels I will just not write about it as I don’t want to that kind of blogger. In setting out to develop my Blog I knew I wanted it to be fun and positive and about all the wonderful things life, food and wine have to offer.
Negativity breeds negativity so, if you are looking for a restaurant on my site please know that if I have written anything about it, then there was something good in my overall experience.
What are your thoughts on the negative review?