ANY ADVICE ON HANDLING
ONLINE CRITICISM AND
MANAGING YOUR REPUTATION?
The fact is, every individual customer has become more
important. Whether it’s on Yelp or similar opinion and
rating sites, Facebook or their own blog, people have
platforms that allow them to publicize their views of your
business. Because of the reach of social networking, they
can influence many other people.
QDo your homework Be aware of the various social media sites and understand how they work and what they’re for. You don’t have to use them all, but you must be
regular and consistent with those you choose. It’s as essential as touching
tables, and should not be considered optional.
THE MOST POPULAR SITES
Create personal and restaurant
pages, post thoughts, news,
photos, links, and interact with
fans and friends.
Send and receive text-based posts
of up to 140 characters, aka
Create a profile, network with
Post personal experiences
When their restaurant gets a bad review, whether it’s from
a professional or an amateur, I always remind chefs to ask
themselves, “What can I learn from this?” If your response
is to come back screaming and insisting they are wrong,
nothing will be achieved. You may get some personal
satisfaction by venting, but you won’t gain anything
professionally. You don’t do yourself any favors by being
mean or angry. If someone has a legitimate complaint, is
misinformed or mistaken, deal with it graciously. Think
about that cocktail party metaphor I used earlier. Be sorry.
Ask for an opportunity to do better. Leave your ego out of
it. Handle problems privately when necessary.
Geo-locator app for smartphones;
let people know where you are.
tumblr & Ow.ly
Tools for sharing text, links,
photos, music, etc.
It’s true that sometimes people who post negative
comments online hope to be invited back and given free
food. My response is, “So what?” It’s a small investment.
Look at the big picture. It’s a win for you if they leave
happy and say something positive. This is the hospitality
business. Be hospitable.
Enhance and post photos.
That said, you can’t do anything about the trolls. [These
are people who post provocative, outrageous, inflammatory
remarks, not necessarily true, to bait others, disrupt
discussions and prompt arguments.] Ignore them. Do not
engage under any circumstances. These are not rational
people, and you can’t win a battle with them.
Help businesses manage social
networking via a single centralized
CAN YOU OFFER SOME DOS AND
DON’TS ABOUT WHAT TO PUT OUT
ON THE INTERNET?
These days, as a chef, you have to accept that you are a
public person. So you shouldn’t ever post anything you
don’t want the public to know. My rule of thumb for chefs
is that you should only post something you’d want a future
investor to see. As for language, same rule applies. If you
wouldn’t say it across the table at an investor meeting, you
probably shouldn’t put it online.