5 Tips on Handling a Food Critic!
Eek, It’s a Food Critic! Now What Are You Going to Do?
OMG, there’s a food critic in my restaurant! I have to go shopping – get better ingredients! I have to redecorate! I have to fire the chef and move to another town and-- Okay, calm down.
It’s a food critic, not cockroaches. What, you’d rather cockroaches? Oh, grow up. And again, calm down.
Sooner or Later…
Listen, if you’re operating any restaurant that warrants any interest whatsoever, sooner or later, you are going to be visited by a food critic. They will come in unannounced, and you will NOT have time to fire your chef, go shopping, or whatever other demented solution is running through your mind, so just accept it. Your menu is what it is, your chef isn’t going to suddenly transform into Nigella, Gordon or Emil, and no fairy godmother is going to suddenly appear to give you a new décor.
Suck it up. Calm Down Just relax. You can get through this.
There are a few thing you should do and not do, but we’ll walk you through them. Just follow these five basic tips:
- Don’t Pretend You Don’t Know Who They Are
Some food critics like to go incognito, but it hardly ever works, and they know that it hardly ever works. So if a food critic comes into your restaurant, simply go over to the table and say something like “Hello, Mr. Food Critic Who Terrifies Me, I am glad that you have decided to dine here tonight. Is there anything I can do to make your experience more pleasurable?” Then react accordingly.
- Don’t Comp the Meal
If you do that, you’re putting the critic in a bad position. He or she knows you’re trying to buy a good review, and that could work for you, or against you in a huge way. You can offer a complimentary drink, but never the whole meal
- Don’t Ask About Their History
If you want to know how long the critic has been in the business, or how many restaurants they’ve evaluated, Google them. Leave the critic alone to enjoy the meal.
- Don’t Do Anything Different
You know that you’re running a great restaurant, so don’t deviate from your menu. Resist the temptation to run into the kitchen and tell the chef, “You’ve got to jazz it up!” Be confident in what you’re doing, and take an honest review.
- No Special Treatment
One of the things a food reviewer wants to see is how you treat your guests in the normal course of things. Don’t give the reviewer any special treatment – let him or her see how all your guests are treated. The Final Word If you’re getting it right, the reviewer will see that. If you’re not, read the review, learn from it, and move on.
So as you can see a Food Critic is just another client. Take care of them just like you take care of everyone else!!!
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