Hey folks…my partner and I have been musing a lot about things like yelp, urbanspoon, facebook, and craigslist, and the importance/damage/benefit these things can do for a business. For example, new customer comes in to restaurant…hates it or loves it, goes home or jumps on the smart phone, and promptly reviews the restaurant according to there experience good or bad. This is fine, but there are problems and they are perpetuated by the administrators of these sites I believe. Lets say bad review customer doesn’t like your place BUT said bad reviewer has never been to the restaurant, and is an ex-employee, another business owner, or an ex girlfriend or boyfriend of someone that works there, or ANY number of things. What if bad review is a third party business that solicits restaurant for monthly service fee to “help” manage the good and bad reviews…how you wonder, we wonder that too. And do these third party businesses post generic bad reviews to motivate an unsuspecting business to participate? Scary stuff…harmful stuff. But it exists, and there is nothing (not even yelp or urbanspoon “filters”) you, as a business owner can do about it.
We have been knee deep in this crap lately. Marketing people calling the restaurant claiming they can “help” with the reviews. Ex employees writing smear reviews. We even have spoken with another new restaurant that was reviewed negatively BEFORE it even opened?!?!? The latest, for us, is a reviewer that is not so crafty. He basically wanted a job based on an ad we posted with craigslist…was not hired, and instead has gone on a virtually uncontested war path to smear and disrespect us, the hard working employees here, and sound kind of crazy to top it off. So for point of musing, here are the actual correspondences with job applicant (I’ll call him Bill), and the restaurant, and then the review and blog response he posted about us:
”Hello Chef, I will be coming by your establishment tomorrow for a sit down interview. I have read your blog on several occasions and would like to chance to work in an Augusta restaurant that raises the bar. While I would like to apply for the Sous Chef position, I don’t think I am qualified, however I am a step above your typical line cook. After moving here from Nashville, I was amazed to see that even the “Fine” dining restaurants here in Augusta were verage and whats worse, happy with it. I don’t have a resume, however I have attached a work history. As I am unemployed, please let me know before I come if your not interested, Gas is vital to me right now.” Bill, first email
“Thank you for the interest. I regret to inform you that I do not do sit down interviews upon first meeting. You are more than welcome to come down and fill out an application, and if I am available we can meet briefly. I do recommend putting together a resume as well if you desire something outside of the traditional responsibilities of being a line or prep cook. Initiative like that shows organization and responsibility. With all applicants for the available positions, I will review all the applications and resumes and schedule sit down interviews after that. Thanks again for the interest” Rooster’s Beak response…standard protocol for hiring no less
“70 miles to fill out an application with a we will call you result, Thank you for your time” Bill’s response..ok, should of stop conversation here
“Well, you could of put together an actual resume as I suggested previously. Driving 70 miles would not be necessary.” Our response though…trying to still get a resume
“Chef, it is a shame that I have waited so long for you to post an ad, considering I live in ***** (some place around Augusta), actually staying with my mother, which is why I relocated here because of her age. While I don’t think what your asking is unreasonable, I just know that the drive will cost me 20 dollars in gas, and I am unemployed. As for putting together a resume, I simply can not afford to print it. Perhaps you don’t understand that if you don’t have the funds to accomplish something, no matter how much you want to, you just can’t. I have spent the majority of my life in this business, I have worked hard to make myself a viable asset to who ever I have work for and that’s always paid off. I will be at Rooster’s Beak tomorrow between 3 and 4, even if I have to walk. I have never been one to let my personal issues interfere with something I want, and I want this opportunity. If I fail, it will not be because I didn’t give it everything I have.” Bill again, persistance is great…but just attach a resume…we don’t respond
“Interesting they way owners and managers do things in Georgia, wouldn’t work in other states. Amazing lack of respect for people, and still they make bad judgement in their hiring, but they like to sit back and play to their egos on how important they are.” Bill, again…not nice this time
“Please do not email this address anymore. The posting for employment is very clear about coming in for an application or attaching a resume to an email. This is not meant to be a dialogue about anything else.” Rooster’s Beak, plain and simple…but worried about the mental state of applicant…clearly offended…we spam this email
“whatever, I’m 48 and willing to bet I’d smoke you on a cook line.along with your cooks but being from a little town like Augusta, it breeds arrogance. and makes people think they better than they are. don’t worry, and please throw away anything I sent you I don’t work for rude, disrespectful people at any pay rate.” Bill again, clearly really mad…but he starts to use another email account and posts the next to things on yelp and website blog page…
“increadibly arrogant blog from someone who runs a establishment that doesn’t have consistency, and has more pot heads in the kitchen than cooks. While condeming the places in Augusta, I would suggest starting with yours, and it’s almost copycat menu, dispite changing the names. Flat iron steak?/ come on can’t you afford a decent cut of meat instead of a cheap cut your have over priced at 19.00 for that price I could do a stunning filet of beef with 2 sides, and while my profit margin wouldn’t be that high, I would have more turn around and repeat business. Your menu, bland and over priced, so while you condem other places in Augusta, you really should look at yourself because you are the same , Your not even a 1 star eatery. Your not qualified to condem any place in Augusta, and you might not unstand it, all you blog does is piss of ppl make sure a lot of them don’t even try your business.” Bill’s Response to blog post about reconmended local eateries to customers who have inquired
“after reading the reviews and the Chefs blog I thought I would take my girl to eat here to “experence” a real nice place to eat. I was sorely disappointed in my fellow yelpers, this place was nothing like I expected. I wanted a steak, all that they have is a flat iron, which in case you didn’t know is the waste cut from the shoulder. My girl tried the pizza, which came out with burnt edges, and she hardly touched it. As for my steak, it was tough and chewy, and about one degree over cooked. Service wasn’t bad, but for the price I paid, Olive Garden, which the chef talks bad about on his blog, would have been a cheaper and much better choice. We actually ended up stopping at Micky D’s so she could eat. A new Chef would be probably the best thing Roosters Beak could do to improve the food. way over rated by the locals.” Bill’s review on yelp…we know its Bill based on the emails…and the mention of where he lives. Nice use of the term ”fellow yelpers”…he is no “yelper”, he has been on yelp ONCE…to smear us
” It is incredibly amazing you have gone out of your to be disrestpectful and vindictive against a restaurant and its staff who you actually do not know. You will post fake reviews on yelp and respond to the website blog which you clearly do not understand, just because I would not make an interview without seeing you resume which you could of easily attached to your emai?!?!?! Shame on you sir. Nobody owes you anything. I should of not even responded to the first email. I am and was very clear about how we hire here Management jobs attach and send a resume, line cooks come in and fill and application. You cross the line when you lie and disrespect my staff that works incredibly hard. We never claim to be better than anyone, and we are grateful everyday to try and offer a good product. Shame on you. If you are such a great chef and line cook, I find it odd you are not working or owning your own restaurant, where you can “smoke” your own co workers or staff on a regular basis. Never once did I say in my ad that a response was a guarentee interview. You crossed the line, and you should stop this insane behavior immediately, or I will report you to everyone I can. Management Rooster’s Beak.” Email Rooster’s Beak sent to Bill (both emails) based on yelp and blog
So there you go. Sorry this is such a long post, but we are so angry with this type of smearing and the ability for people to “anonomysly” make up shit on online sites like urbanspoon and yelp. Further more, it is crazy how dangerous craigslist is. Believe me, I KNOW now. Be warned.
We really try hard at Rooster’s Beak and stuff like this really gets us worked up. It is not right and it is not honest.