I regularly use TripAdvisor as a customer as we take 5 or 6 holidays per year and enjoy going on excursions whilst on holidays…so quite often we will search the excursions on TripAdvisor. I also look at the hotels we have booked…mostly the photos, k don’t bother too much with the reviews as general opinions differ so much.
As for food, I steer well clear.
After working my arse off in sweatbox kitchens since the age of 18, i learned to take some comments with a pinch of salt, take some on board, and on many ocassilns was told by bosses “dont take it personal chef”. DONT TAKE IT PERSONAL…. that’s easy to say when you are the boss of several restaurants and you get to spend evenings and weekends with the family while your staff run the restaurants daily operations.
Me and my wife are very hands on, as this is a small team and a small business with tight margins, squeezed tighter by ridiculous business rates, crazy prices to remove commercial waste, obscene music licence fees…oh…and VAT. Anyway…I’m getting off track.
Basically the odd TWAT who thinks it’s ok to act like an utter dick head in the restaurant because “i eat lots of steak and I never seen a fillet with a bone on before…it must be a cheaper cut”…these people turn nasty and personal, not to our faces of course…but online. It gets personal when the say “the chef doesn’t know his arse from his elbow” or “sack the chef” …when what’s really happened is this daft prick has just never eaten anywhere that sells fillet on the bone.
Rather than berate people and give them shit, I have decided I’m just not responding anymore the the masses of bullshit that is typed up after the ‘critics has downed 2 bottles of bargain booze Italian job paint stripper/rose wine.
So often guests ask to speak with the chef…those who know me, know that I don’t enjoy the restaurant floor (I’m not shy, just don’t like to leave my kitchen until after service)…But so so many guests comment on how my TripAdvisor responses are a breath of fresh air…obviously I cringe like fuck thinking of some of the comments I make…but it’s nice to know that people are entertained by this. A lady even asked for a photo with me in the summer haha…unfortunately a sink-hole didn’t appear below me and I had to endure it, pretending I enjoy my 5 minute Z-list celebrity status!
Anyway.. I’m done with TripAdvisor now.
A recent ‘threat’ brought this rash decision on me.
2 weeks ago I was sitting by the pool in our villa in Thailand, bottle of ice cold Chang beer in 1 hand, the other scrolling the masses of bullshit on Facebook, when an email landed from the Gatehouse website. A man was very concerned that his 8oz rump steak main course (no starters/sides/desserts ordered) had not filled him up, and at 14.50 he expected a bigger meal.
He threatened me with ….not the local nutter, not a mafia hit man, not a baseball bat to the legs…not a firebomb to my lovely range rover…but a nasty TripAdvisor review.
Aparently my job is to fill him up as well as cook his food? Why did a grown man who was so malnourished choose the smallest steak on the menu with no sides or starters???? Fuck knows…but he needed a kebab after his meal he said…I felt quite pleased about this, as I took another gulp of Chang I realised that I had just helped another local business…those people running the kebab shop here are lovely, so I’m glad I could help.
He still hasn’t slated me on TripAdvisor though, so my life is on hold at the moment whilst I’m living in fear!