Article: “Customer service with a snarl” (Aug.2006)

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excerpt:
“Customer service has eroded over the past decade for a variety of reasons — low wages, lack of training, exponential growth, to name a few. Few companies have the blend of corporate culture, training and opportunities for advancement that makes employees surpass expectations…

…In the restaurant business, quality is difficult to gauge because most customers don’t complain — they simply go elsewhere. To amp up its service, Furio began a day-after-dining program to gauge customer satisfaction: The Scottsdale restaurant picks diners at random from the reservation book and contacts them about their experience.

“We look at every single comment,” says Stephanie Eglin, director of marketing for Anthem Restaurants, which owns Furio. “When somebody gives negative feedback, the owner himself makes the call if he’s able to. This type of endeavor is not costly, and we’re able to gain a lot of valuable feedback…”

source: “Customer service with a snarl” by Marija Potkonjak (East Valley Tribune, Aug.14,2006)

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Article: “Chowhound: Rave reviews’ smell suspect” (Aug.2006)

excerpt:
“Chowhound.com, a popular online message board devoted to those in search of good food and drink, has banned mentions of a Cambridge restaurant from its site.

Chowhound alleges it was receiving a suspicious number of rave reviews of the 4-month-old Conundrum in Harvard Square, many of them coming from the same computer connection.

“We’ve had a blitz of postings with rapturous praise for Conundrum from many, many posters, all of whom are utter newcomers to the site, and our users have been complaining that it seems like we might be getting played,” Chowhound co-founder Jim Leff said. “I’m not trying to do anything but run an honest food discussion, and it’s my job to defend that discussion when we feel like it’s being taken advantage of.”

source: “Chowhound: Rave reviews’ smell suspect” by Donna Goodison (Boston Herald, Aug.12, 2006)

Article: “Lehndorff: Spell-check those menus” (Aug.2006)

excerpt:
“I should be relaxing during these dog days of summer, but big questions plague my overheated mind. I get picky, picky, picky and wonder:

Why don’t people who write restaurant menus use spell-checker or have someone proofread them before they print them? I constantly catch spelling and grammatical errors among the starters and entrees. When I see “prosciutto wrapped shrimp,” I wonder why there isn’t a hyphen connecting the modifiers, i.e., “prosciutto-wrapped.”

It makes me think there are other details that have slipped below the management’s radar…”

source: “Lehndorff: Spell-check those menus” by John Lehndorff (Rocky Mountain News, Aug.4,2006)

related link:
Resource: Customers list their restaurant pet peeves and annoyances [WaiterBell Blog]

Research: Hospitality Technology’s “2006 POS Scoreboard – Rating Top POS Systems”

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excerpt:
“Now in its third year, the POS Scoreboard offers the industry’s only ranking of the top foodservice point-of-sale software companies based on company size, number of installations and user satisfaction.

…How do POS software systems compare in the opinion of foodservice operators? The user satisfaction scores offer charts and analyses of how systems fared in the criteria deemed most important by the operators themselves.”

source: “2006 POS Scoreboard – Rating Top POS Systems” (Hospitality Technology, 2006) [pdf, free registration req.]

Article: “In good businesses, it’s all about the service” (Jul.2006)

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excerpt:
“…At a Ruby Tuesday restaurant, the wait after being seated was interminable.

Finally, after about 10 minutes, a waiter from another part of the restaurant walked by, noticed the lack of menus, drinks and silverware, and asked if we’d been helped.

He brought us our drinks and told our waiter that we were, in fact, there and waiting for service.

By the time the young waiter for our area showed up, he knew we weren’t happy. Perhaps it was the grim look on our faces, as if we were undergoing surgery, or the terse speech…”

source: “In good businesses, it’s all about the service” by Garrison Wells (The Sun News, Jul.28,2006)

Resource: Customers list their restaurant pet peeves and annoyances

Resource: Forums, Discussions, and Boards for Restaurant-Goers

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Popular Forums, Discussions, and Boards for Restaurant-Goers

EGullet
Chowhound
Epicurious
Yelp
Roadfood
Mouthfuls

related link:
A Review of Some Restaurant Discussion Sites [Bay Area Bites]