It seems that I have problems with restaurant owners. Every time I voice my opinion I get into a whole world of gastronomic trouble. Now, I understand that restaurant folk are passionate types (not unlike myself), but I also think that they need to be business owners. And sometimes that means not being blinded by passion, or gas burner fumes or whatever it is, and accepting that not every customer will adore you.

Here’s the ironic part of this rant: we last ate at this restaurant 10 years ago and didn’t have a great meal. I distinctly remember a burnt duck and a tedious wait. And our friend Rob pretending to be 5280 Magazine’s restaurant critic. Maybe it’s payback for that. To make this all even more ironic, we tried to go back to Potager with Courtney and Mike, and it was closed, for a week, in the middle of summer, for a vacation. So we went to Tables in Park Hill. And I wrote a review. And got myself into hot water with the owner. Of course.

So here’s the run down and we’ll end with a big philosophical Facebook question, so wait for it, ok? In a nutshell, we went to Potager, I tasted something really bitter and weird in my mussels. I told the waitress. About 8 hours later I was doubled over. When I was vaguely recovered, which was a Monday and they were closed, I posted a message on their Facebook page, of which I was already a fan. They removed it. Removed me as a fan. And didn’t bother to contact me. So I posted another message asking why they removed my first one and didn’t contact me. And then the conversation began.

She said:

So I said:

So she said:

And then I said:

So the questions: is Facebook not an appropriate forum to communicate with a business? Did I break the rules of some kind of unethical restaurant no-no? Are we always to say lovely things and just keep our mouths shut? Is it appropriate for a business to remove a negative comment instead of making it good in public? What are the rules here people? And where am I supposed to have dinner next Saturday night?

Comments

  1. 2 things to contribute:

    1) Just cause it says ‘Fan Page’ doesn’t mean everyone on the site actually needs to post raves about how good the company is. If a Fan has a bad experience you can absolutely post it. The company should respond and resolve it in public, to show their Fan’s how they deal with problems – which every company has.

    2) The size of the company and the market you’re in is probably why you’re having this debate in the first place. I can’t imagine a giant NYC restaurant who probably serves 190 portions of mussels a day getting into a slinging match with a customer. They accept that you can’t please all the peeps all the time, and that no matter how fresh, you can’t ensure all seafood is not dodgy – and that having the odd unhappy customer is just part and parcel of doing business. As is responding appropriately.

    2 points to prove one point – you in the right Lex.

    That’s my 5c, and I’m out!

  2. “Oh my gosh, do you really want me to respond?”

    Seems like you have an agenda, or some attitude. Whether this was spurned from your food poisoning or not is something you’ll know….and I’ll be left to wonder.