Leaving a Nasty Yelp Review Makes You an Asshole
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Oh, the Internet. We love it and hate it for many reasons. One of them is the instant gratification we receive when posting on social media, like that of instant revenge. With one click, you can do so much harm. Yelp is the epitome of this. But to all the people who are out for a vendetta via Yelp, here’s a few things to consider before you put your fingers on that keyboard:
Consider the type of environment you are seeking.
Too often, people complain that the music is too loud, the portions are too small or the dress code too strict. Each place has carefully thought out the kind of ambiance and crowd they want to draw in. If it’s not to your liking, the problem isn’t theirs, it’s yours. It is their house, you are a guest, and that is how you should approach any business.
i.e. mandatory coat check or the inability to give you a table ‘until the entire party is present’, it is not because they want to annoy you. Rules are made so the business will effectively operate. Something happened in the past to arrive at those rules, and now there’s a way to prevent it. Customers dictate the rules in a very direct way, management just enforces them. Think about it, ever wonder why most places don’t carry copper mugs anymore? It’s because people steal them.
Bad reviewers have many bad reviews.
Why? Are you respectful or are you entitled? Many things can go wrong that are out of the servers or managers’ control. 99% of the time, all it takes is for you to speak up. Politely communicate to your server what is wrong and they will give you the world. No one wants to help a rude asshole, be humble and ask for assistance. If after you’ve voiced your concerns they haven’t given you an explanation or a do over, it’s time to politely request a manager.
All establishments are different.
Just because one place was able to do something for you, doesn’t mean every place can. We all want to be at the most happening place in town on Saturday night, but with Tuesday afternoon service. It’s impossible to have it all. You can’t ask an upscale lounge to split your check 18 ways because TGI Friday’s does. Again, each place has rules that are specific to them and their clientele’s needs. If you can’t live with that, don’t go there.
Realize your severs are humans.
It’s unfair to punish them for making mistakes. Yes, sometimes things will be their fault, but expecting them to be perfect is unreasonable. I like to look around and see what could be causing the problem before I decide on a course of action. If it’s a busy night and my server keeps forgetting my water because clearly they’re slammed, I am way more forgiving. If my drinks are taking too long, I use the same criteria. Survey before you act. Be understanding.
Bars and restaurants are businesses.
This might be the most important point. Businesses are meant to make money. Servers are there to make money. Every non-customer is there to make money. Time is money. Space is money. Don’t be the asshole who wastes their time and space by not spending money and expect VIP service.
Now, if you’ve already considered all of the above and still feel as if you’ve been wronged, you should still refrain from using Yelp. There is one last and very effective course of action you can take: Write an eloquent and articulate email. There are copious amounts of general managers and owners who aren’t aware of how things are running when they’re not around. You will be helping them better their venue, and I can tell you with all certainty that they will apologize and ask you to return as their personal guest, cost free. There is no reason to write a harmful review if you’ve gone through all these steps. Communication is key from the second you step in until the second you leave. If after all this, they still haven’t redeemed themselves and you feel it’s worth it to send some negativity their way, you have my full permission.