Article: “How to Use Publicity to Offset Bad Restaurant Reviews”


"Few things can put a restaurant out of business faster than a bad restaurant review. If it happens to you, don’t just complain. Take proactive steps to ensure that the public knows your side of the story.

Here are tips for the hospitality industry on how to offset bad reviews—and make the most of good ones:…"

source: "How to Use Publicity to Offset Bad Restaurant Reviews" by Joan Stewart (

Here are some more links discussing restaurant critics from the perspective of restaurant owners:

"A critic's pen alone does not write off a restaurant" (Boston Business Journal)

"Critiquing Restaurant Critics" (Restaurant Report)

"Critics, restaurateurs discuss fairness of reviews: operators say writers should know food, wine; claim good service can trump culinary mistakes" (Nation's Restaurant News)


Article: “No hard science, but here’s how I review a restaurant” (May 2006)


"There is no hard science about restaurant criticism because it is, without doubt, subjective. After all, I'm just one mouth, not a sample group.

So the criteria I use to evaluate a restaurant aren't exactly quantifiable. My mission isn't to score a restaurant like the College Board scores SATs.

Instead, I try to give a hint about what to expect at a given restaurant, and how high a patron's expectations should reasonably be."

source: "No hard science, but here's how I review a restaurant" by Tucker Shaw (Denver Post, May 31,2006)

This is another article about how a professional restaurant critic goes about reviewing a restaurant. It is a good reminder for restaurant owners. Michael Bauer, critic for SF Chronicle, published a more specific list earlier this month.

Article: “No hard science, but here’s how I review a restaurant” (May 2006)


"Service. Often, the most compelling reason to go out for dinner isn't the food. It's the fact that we don't have to cook, do dishes, or, frankly, get our butts up from the table for anything at all.

But service has to be good for it to make sense. There's no upside to sloppy service; it negates any chance of having a pleasant meal. Flawless service, however, is invaluable. It can make a good meal great, a great meal unforgettable.

The more I eat out, the more I appreciate good service (by which I mean efficient, aware and friendly), and the more sensitive I am to bad (sluggish, distracted and absent). 

source: "No hard science, but here's how I review a restaurant" by Tucker Shaw (Denver Post, May 31,2006) 

WaiterBell Angle: This professional restaurant critic explains how important restaurant service is to the dining experience and how it can affect a meal. The WaiterBell system is specifically designed to enhance restaurant customer service by providing a service safety net for your waitstaff and your customers. Poor restaurant service leaves a bad taste in a customer's mouth.

Article: “Make dining out with a big group more enjoyable” (May 2006)


"Are you always part of that restaurant group that leaves both you and your server frazzled? Did you even have a good time? Here are some ways to navigate any group dining situation, whether deciding whom to sit next to or quibbling over the bill.

Call Ahead
Even if you're only giving 30 minutes' notice, a call can help you get seated faster.

"With as many people that eat out in the Dallas area, it is always smart to book an advance reservation when possible, especially for groups with six or more guests," says Norma Dickey, director of special-event planning and marketing for Consilient Restaurants, parent company of Cuba Libre, Fireside Pies and Hibiscus…"

source: "Make dining out with a big group more enjoyable" by Erin Wade (May 22,2006)

Happy Eating.

News: Recent Restaurant Technology Headlines 5/29/06

Use the right technology, not just the latest gadgets (May 29, 2006)

"The role of technology in foodservice is constantly changing, forcing companies to adapt regularly if they are to benefit from the latest advances. Today, technology plays a role in nearly every aspect of the business." (Nation's Restaurant News)

Many wi-fi spots vulnerable to hackers (May 28, 2006)

"Computer security specialist Cory Michal needs only five minutes, using store-bought technology, to access credit card information from a downtown Milwaukee restaurant." (The Business Journal of Milwaukee) [via MSNBC]

NRA Touts the Latest in Innovation (March 2006)

"…it’s rare to see a show devote separate time and floor space to truly new and advanced equipment. And that’s what makes the Kitchen Innovations program, launched last year at the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, so exciting." (Foodservice Equipment Reports)

Blog Post: “Waitstaff can make all the difference — or so it seems” (May 2006)


"…That is until a party of 5 appeared and the Italian waiter was so fawning he virtually sat with them while the other waiter was out of his league trying to keep everyone else happy. We sat and sat and sat.

Finally we had to speak out to get his attention and a check. Silent signals just didn't work.

I won't go back and it's too bad because the food is very good. But the frustation trying to get it served isn't worth it."

source: "Waitstaff can make all the difference — or so it seems" by Deborah S. Hartz (From the Test Kitchen, May 26, 2006)

WaiterBell Angle: The author of this post, Deborah S. Hartz, is the food editor for South Florida's Sun-Sentinel newspaper. As you can see, the power of internet tools makes it easier than ever for your customers to publish their dining experiences for everyone to see (and find).

Ms. Hartz's experience may have been due to a mistake, a miscommunication, or atypical of the customary service at the restaurant, however you don't get a second chance to make a first impression. Restaurants can prevent experiences like Ms. Hartz with WaiterBell, a service safety net for both the customer and the waitstaff.

Imagine how Ms. Hartz experiences would have been different with WaiterBell at the restaurant and what she would have written instead in her blog. WaiterBell is always working for you, your staff, and your customers.

Article: “What Your Customers Want” (July 2005)

"…RESTAURANT HOSPITALITY recently commissioned consumer research to provide original and actionable information about consumer usage and ordering habits that you can take to the bank.

The research captured consumer frequency of eating at full-service restaurants on weekdays and weekends; how often they eat at your restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner; the types of restaurants they've eaten at in the past six months and what makes them want to return to a restaurant.

…We, the editors of RESTAURANT HOSPITALITY, hope that this consumer research will give you a better insight into dealing with customers. We're convinced that it will confirm information that you may have already believed in your mind, while also revealing areas of opportunity that you may not have known existed. Use this information wisely and watch your business grow."

source: "What Your Customers Want" (Restaurant Hospitality, July 2005)

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