Thursday, October 7, 2010

Advice from Spiderman's Uncle

In the comics, Peter Parker's (Spiderman) uncle Ben said "With great power comes great responsibility". I am slowly learning this in small increments. If you follow me on Twitter, last night there was a tweet that I put out there encouraging people to read this blog today and get a negative review on a local restaurant. About 20 minutes later, I got a text from a friend that owns another establishment, encouraging me to rethink my intentions. (Yes, I got a text about a tweet that referred to my blog. Welcome to 2010!!).

I quickly thought about the implications of what I was about to do, and I decided not to review the restaurant on here. I also deleted the tweet. This was for a couple of reasons:

1) This is a wine blog, not a restaurant review site. I do this thing for free. Even though it has led to a small, paying, writing gig, I am not paid to talk about restaurants here. The intention of this blog is to inform people about beverages. Sure, I eat out a lot but I'll let the full-time critics give you their views.

2) It's not fair to the restaurant. Look folks, just because you have the ability to get onto a blog, twitter, Yelp, etc doesn't mean you should. If you are blessed, like I am, with people that actually read your words, remember that they will also listen to them. This is where Uncle Ben's words come into play. Really think about the appropriate way to discuss your experience. One option (which I will take) is to send a letter or email to the restaurant if you had a negative experience. This gives them the opportunity to respond. Trust me, restaurant owners hate Yelp. Anyone can get on there, covered by anonymity, and say just about anything they want. I don't wish ill fate onto restaurants that don't serve good product. I wish they would fix their issues and deliver food that is worth the hard-earned money that I'm paying for it, but I don't want them to go out of business.

3) I'm a food snob. There, I said it. I think that you can get a great dining experience at any price point, but you can also get pretty bad food as well. In my restaurant and wine career, I have had the opportunity to eat at some of the greatest restaurants in America. This has jaded me a little in that I'm pretty critical about anything that is put in front of me. The meal last night wasn't bad at all- I was just going to be picky about little things in it. Truth be told, most people would have probably found the meal amazing.

4) I'm trying to avoid hypocrisy. Last week, I wrote a post about how people aren't positive enough. Razing a restaurant on here would not have been positive, and would have gone against my own desires.

So, there you go. The next time you are about to flame some other business, just think first about all the people that will be involved, and the fallout that your words might have. I'm not saying not to ever bring up negative points, just do it in a manner that is fair and equitable.


No comments:

Post a Comment