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A suggestion

Santa Ponsa...
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30 posts
3 reviews
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A suggestion

I really believe it would enhance the whole TA set-up if we could have a

small inset at the top of our page, just a few lines, not a lot of

space, so we could, in a nutshell, state our philosophy/goal/mission

etc. It would be proactive rather than reactive and would eliminate the

need to keep repeating stuff in response to reviewers. Also, as it

would be at the top of the page all the time it would be seen by anyone

logging on to our page rather than disappearing when new reviews push

the older ones onto another page as is the case with management reviews.

I really think that a brief statement by us would be helpful for people

checking out our restaurant so they would know very quickly if we are

the restaurant to satisfy their needs. The reviews by customers are

often very specific to dishes they have eaten, and are not the

equivalent of professional food critic reviews which give a more

comprehensive picture of a restaurant. Please give this serious

consideration and try to put yourself in the shoes of restaurant owners.

It would be very helpful to us to be able to outline briefly what our

focus is, and also from the point of view of a restaurant customer

(which I also am from time to time) I would find it very helpful,

instead of having to come into a restaurant and find that it is not what

I expected or was looking for. Reviewers comments can be very

egocentric and motivated by factors other than a desire to present a

balanced, objective review of a restaurant. We are like the "dog" that

a disgruntled owner kicks after a bad day at the office/in traffic/from

a nagging wife and pestering children on holiday etc etc etc. We are

often at the receiving end for negative treatement as substitutes for

the real targets of their ire.

We are an integral part of your set-up now and valuable in attracting

viewers to Trip Advisor who are looking for a good restaurant to eat in,

and subsequently will use Trip Advisor in looking also for a hotel.

Remember, we are not voluntarily on Trip Advisor, and although I

personally think it is helpful in general for us to be on TA, we do draw

our share of malevolent reviews from competitors and just plain

unpleasant unhappy-with-life people who crave their fifteen minutes of

fame. As a result, it is practically impossible for us ever to rise

about a rating of satisfaction higher than 82%. We are by far the

busiest restaurant in Santa Ponsa, the longest running, and considering

the huge turnover, the best bet for a satisfactory eating out

experience. Yes, we get more negative reviews that the small places who

serve a very small number of customers compared to us, and who therefore

have more time for PR and chatting to customers. We have people waiting

on the steps into our restaurant and the this is the highest accolade a

restaurant can get.

So please consider what I am requesting and give us that little space.

It would save me having to explain about our goal each time we get a

negative review and would therefore use less of TA space. It would be

very helpful for prospective customers.

I am a constructive member of TA, intelligently engaged with you and

sharing your goals to a large degree. Looking after members like me can

only be positive for TA.

Fingers crossed

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
22,198 posts
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1. Re: A suggestion

are you willing to pay for that?

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
5,957 posts
76 reviews
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2. Re: A suggestion

Is it safe to assume you have a website? I'd lay odds that anyone interested enough to read a mission statement is also willing to check out your menu and othe "about us" information you post. My only concern is how much we try to stuff onto the "quick look" page.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
43,023 posts
1,071 reviews
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3. Re: A suggestion

Since when do restaurant have "mission statements"? I'm reasonably certain I've never been in a restaurant with a "mission statement"... other than perhaps a statement that they hope their guests enjoy their food!

>> The reviews by customers are often very specific to dishes they have eaten, and are not the equivalent of professional food critic reviews which give a more comprehensive picture of a restaurant.<<

No. Of course not.

TripAdvisor reviews are not Michelin ratings. Reviewers simply rate their satisfaction with their experience! No professionals, no psychobabbly food-speak ;-)

Santa Ponsa...
Level Contributor
30 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: A suggestion

I'm thinking about the points you have made, and before discussing them with you, let me know do you have a restaurant business?

Santa Ponsa...
Level Contributor
30 posts
3 reviews
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5. Re: A suggestion

Do you have a restaurant, or are you involved in any capacity in the restaurant business?

Santa Ponsa...
Level Contributor
30 posts
3 reviews
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6. Re: A suggestion

In principle, yes. It would depend on the price charged.

Santa Ponsa...
Level Contributor
30 posts
3 reviews
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7. Re: A suggestion

I take your point, but as always, in the laying of odds, you can win or you can lose. I prefer to base decisions about my restaurant on something more solid. What I am going to do is reply by email to reviewers and ask them whether they also checked our website when they consulted Trip Advisor. Kind of more evidence-based than going on a hunch, though hunches can be right at times. When anyone bets me something like that, I always ask them how much are they prepared to bet, and how will we check out whether their bet was right or wrong, and what guarantee to I have that they will pay up. So how much are you prepared to bet on the outcome of my research into whether check our website also. :-) !

Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
12,789 posts
27 reviews
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8. Re: A suggestion

Presumably you own this place: tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g562815-d1…

A mission statement is not going to protect you from bad reviews.

A mission statement is not going to protect you from the the poor impression you leave when insulting your guests in management responses.

A mission statement won't hide that you deflect any deficiencies and blame it on your guests.

And before you ask, I only dated a restaurant owner for several years, I didn't own the place.

If you want opinions from restaurant owners then you should post your question in the owners forum, so they can tell you what everyone else already has.

And BTW, posting a review on one of your competitors is against guidelines, even if positive. Its also against guidelines to post a review, that discusses another review.

Edited: 24 September 2013, 07:14
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
59,749 posts
64 reviews
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9. Re: A suggestion

Hi Liúdramán ~

I have read 15 of your 39 average reviews and 5 of your 13 terrible reviews. I am not sure that adding your suggestion to the TA listing is where the improvement would be best made. If I could make some comments based on my observations of your reviews, granted that I know nothing about your restaurant, other than the website looks very attractive:

IMO, it would be better for you and your business if your management responses showed appreciation for the review and state how the review comments will be used to better your performance, the wait staff's performance, the menu's performance and by extension the performance of the whole restaurant.

Do correct factual information, e.g. about crème brulée but leave the subjective comments alone, no matter how much you have to swallow hard. If you feel you must answer, write up a rough draft and sleep on it before posting to the review. An average review that says nothing bad or incorrect about their experience might best be left alone. Your comments often admonish the reviewer. Some ask the reviewer to compare with other reviewers' comments and with other restaurants. I think it's fair to say that some of your management responses are quite combative. Focus instead on what your restaurant does and what it does well. I struggle to see the value in responding to a 6 line review with a 22 line management response, or a 4 line review with a 36! line management response, taking extensive care to be defensive. Keep it simple.

The energy that is going into the management responses could go into working on your restaurant. Develop a plan for seating families with prams or ? (wheelchairs?) when they show up. (Did you really tell that lady to leave her baby at home with family and take a break from them? instead of saying that you will work on a plan to improve seating options for people with prams?) Develop a plan for making sure your wait staff is trained well. Develop a plan for adding brief descriptions for the menu items so that diners can see what goes into the dish they are thinking of ordering. IMO, improving your management responses by three-fold and making them more professional would go a long way to increasing your "Recommend" rating of 81%.

If you were to sit down with your team to study the review comments that you could actually do something about (not the subjective opinions, but the ones I have mentioned above and similar) and you turned around your management response style, I think you would go a long way to building the top end (average, very good, excellent) of your review ratings. Click open the following links (sorry the second one is for hotels, but does give effective advice that you could adapt):

reknown.com/2011/…

tnooz.com/article/…

You obviously have a great deal of experience and know a great deal about running a restaurant. The photos show lovely looking meals - fresh and plentiful, the restaurant looks presentable and pleasant. People line up to eat there. Fix the parts of your business that are "sloppy" and I'm confident that your reviews will reflect more positive comments.

Just my 2 cents. But I do wish you the very best because your restaurant looks quite appealing to me.

Edit: a LOT of others posted while I was typing. There were only 2 replies when I started to reply.

Edited: 24 September 2013, 07:19
10. Re: A suggestion

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Removed on: 25 September 2013, 02:24