A few nights ago towards the tail end of a LONG drive across Kansas not having seen an exit for several miles, our family was HUNGRY!
When we saw the bright red neon sign “City Limits” at the end of the figurative tunnel, all 4 of us celebrated and salivated as we each conjured up visions of the delectable meals we would find there (Mine was of a classic Kansas Beef burger and fries).
We checked yelp and found only 1 review – favorable – “Friendly and Good Food,” so we dove in.
The place seemed nice enough, with many people (a good sign) . . . most seemed to be “Locals” who appeared to know each other. All signs were pointing to a GOOD experience – We like “Local” places that local people patronize.
We were seated quickly . . . and patiently waited 10 minutes to be greeted (or even acknowledged) by a server . . . there were 3 servers and a Manager moving around talking to folks and delivering meals etc . . . It was clear to us that everyone in the restaurant other than us was a “Regular customer” . . . Neither the servers nor the Manager showed even the slightest sign of urgency . . . Finally, I decided to say something to the Manager and approached her at the salad bar. She apologized and said a server would be right over.
the server came to our table and apologized making the comment that they were short staffed that night and she wasn’t aware that we were seated at one of her tables . . . She said she had tables scattered all over the restaurant. She took our orders, brought our drinks and disappeared . . . Our food arrived a short time later and was, in fact, GOOD (I got my burger just the way I had envisioned) . . . We enjoyed our meal and watched as the servers and Manager lollygagged around engaging in dialog with every table around but never approaching our table or talking to us.
We stopped the manager, asked for our tab, paid with cash and left the restaurant. The minute we got in the car, we posted this story on yelp acknowledging to each other that the likelihood of ANYONE in that restaurant EVER knowing about our poor review on yelp was somewhere between slim and none . . . and then we smiled with the satisfaction of knowing that our review WOULD be seen by myriad other weary travelers who would be warned and continue to drive a tad further to another restaurant.
If you’re in business, yelp can be your best friend or your worst enemy.
Taking the ostrich approach (Sticking your head in the sand figuring that what you can’t see won’t hurt you), you have the probability of losing many potential customers without ever knowing.
So . . .