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Is it just me or should I incourage abuse?

 
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qfanatic01
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Joined: 21 Oct 2009
Posts: 768
Location: Champlin, MN

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06 14 11:28 am    Post subject: Is it just me or should I incourage abuse? Reply with quote

A one time customer posted this on another site and I would like to share my response and get some feed back.

Quote:
Went to Q Fanatic after seeing it on Diner's, Drive In's and Dive's. The food was mediocre. Everything was dry and one dimensional. What I couldn't get past is their passive-aggressive signs that were on the table about not being able to serve customers more than two beers. I usually only ever have one beer with dinner but was floored that they would put these signs on the table. It would have been fine to just state this policy but the fine print they included should have been left out. "We are sorry if this doesn't work for you, we would rather lose your business than lose ours" I do understand their concern, but they should let the people serving the patrons make the call on an individual basis and the rest should just go unsaid. I might give this place another shot but I won't be rushing out the door to try this place again anytime soon and it's already been 2 years.


Mr. X I respect your opinion, but let me explain.

Most importantly let's start with the alcohol policies I have here, which are for two reasons. First, when I added beer I wanted to keep our family friendly atmosphere and still provide a cold one for those who would like to enjoy it with their BBQ. I did not want to be a bar and didn't want the kids working for me to have to filter through those who were looking for a place to hang out and drink. I wanted to assure the families coming in that their business is important to me. Second and most important, I wanted to give my staff the backing of the rules in writing. I don't need rude people harassing my staff for doing their job! My staff for the most part is high school kids, my wife and my kids. I've been in this business for 35 years and have seen plenty of abuse by customers. The customer is not always right and certainly doesn't ever have the right to abuse me, my family or my staff. Frankly over the years I've seen enough. I don't want my family or the kids working for me having deal with when and how to cut someone off. I also have the kids ID everyone. We don't need any stupid mistakes or the fines and penalties that go along with them. In other words we don't need to jeopardize our livelihood over a beer. We can be sued for everything we will ever make over someone leaving our restaurant drunk and killing someone. Not to mention any of my family or staff having to live with that. I am comfortable with our policies and stating them. I think the only ones opposed would be those who think they should have the right to over indulge in my place. I have chosen to take control. If folks want more beer than that with their BBQ we offer takeout and there is a liquor store three doors down. You are right! I am passive and I shouldn't have to deal with undo aggression.

As for the food, I've sampled my way through many places in the country east of the great divide and I can honestly say so far my Q meets or exceeds the majority. Generally not dry, unlike too many I've sampled. My recipes are meant to be simple comfort food not some clever upscale interpretation. We painstakingly smoke only high quality fresh meats everyday here. I've created a selection of freshly prepared sides, from scratch, that hopefully appeal to local Minnesotans as well as BBQ aficionados. Still, I am always looking for ways to improve, always knowing I can never be everything to everybody and that's OK.

Respectfully,
Charlie
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Harry Nutczak
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Joined: 01 Mar 2007
Posts: 8558
Location: The Northwoods

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06 14 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't even waste my time replying to idiocy like that.

I've learned to not wrestle with pigs, they will beat you with their experience, and you'll learn that they actually enjoy rolling in their own crap.

I've gotten slammed all around the room because I did not have 7 pounds of baked beans on hand for immediate carry out with no call ahead from this customer to let us know she wanted a bulk order.
Somehow the fact that she drove an hour to get them made it all my fault. And if my food sucked as much as she stated, then why did dhe drive an hour for a pick-up order?

Do you guys keep a heated railroad tanker car full of ready to serve baked beans on hand at all times outside of your back door?

Most Review sites simply give a mouthpiece to every bunghole with internet access, one particular review site got busted extorting restaurants by charging membership fees that provided places the ability to edit which reviews could be seen, or if you did not advertise with them, they'd hide positive reviews.
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pitmaster t
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Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 191
Location: mansfeild ga.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06 14 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What he said!!! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Cat797
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Joined: 18 Feb 2010
Posts: 717
Location: El Paso, IL

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06 14 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlie, I agree with Harry on this one.....

While I am not in either of your shoes with a restaurant, I have noticed a trend in online interviews:

I am building a house right now and looking at appliances etc. I've re-subscribed to Consumer Reports and have been trolling Amazon and the big-box home improvement stores for reviews. If you go look at any product with an online review, no matter where it is (Amazon, Lowe's, Consumer Reports, etc.), you will find about 50/50 positive vs. negative. People just love to get on line as a keyboard commando and complain about stuff.

I've travelled extensively internationally for the last 3 years and I always look at yelp or TripAdvisor for restaurant recommendations.....Invariably you will have a number of people poo-pooing good establishments. That's what the instant-gratification society gets us today.

Don't waste your time responding to blow hards......Anybody with half a brain knows how hard you have worked to make your business successful, and it wouldn't be that way if it sucked.

All the best,
Ed
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Paul L.
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Joined: 10 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07 14 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately, in this day and age, you have to pay attention to the chatter on the review sites. The vocal minority is loud, full of self importance and has watched enough Food Network that they can run my restaurant better than me!

I have a regular customer that finishes his order by saying, "Try to make sure it's good this time!" Who knows what he says when he's sitting safely behind his computer!
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ckone
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Joined: 23 Oct 2009
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Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07 14 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul L. wrote:


I have a regular customer that finishes his order by saying, "Try to make sure it's good this time!"


If he is a regular, I would say he is joking.
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Harry Nutczak
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Joined: 01 Mar 2007
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Location: The Northwoods

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07 14 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ckone wrote:
Paul L. wrote:


I have a regular customer that finishes his order by saying, "Try to make sure it's good this time!"


If he is a regular, I would say he is joking.


I agree,

I love when people ask "what's good today?" I I say everything here sucks, thats why you keep coming back so often, and I'm afraid that the first time you get something good, you won't be back anymore.
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OKBBQEA
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Joined: 30 Apr 2007
Posts: 809
Location: Moore, Oklahoma

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07 14 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a Q-blogger that spends a lot of time travelling around eating in Q-raunts, writing about it, and occasionaly dealing with the aftermath of an owner not appreciating my honest opinion. Let me give this advice from someone on the other side.

Unless they are saying something slanderous or libelous. I wouldn't waste your time with anything more than saying thank you for the feedback.

If it is slanderous or libelous then you should talk to your lawyer about it but it doesn't come across that way to me.

They didn't enjoy their meal and decided to be nit-picky about your sign because of it. You won't sway their opinion one way or another. So concentrate on the people patronizing your Q-raunt and don't waste time on it.

Personally if I saw this review on Urbanspoon I would click "No it wasn't helpful" just because of the comment about the sign. The sign has no relevance to the food.

Oh, and here is an example for all of you Q-raunt owners on how not to respond to us idiots....

I Own (Q-raunt name removed), and your review was anything but true, I have been at that location over 14 years, so I must be doing something right. First of all my Ribs and Brisket are cooked on a smoker we don't even have an oven , so how can I bake them???? I have been told thousands of times my BBQ is great. We have a loyal customer base, Many more followers then you have. You call yourself an EXPERT on BBQ, well tell me this Mister EXPERT, you gave (competitors Q-raunt name removed) a good review, for store bought food all ready cooked. They don't cook nothing on premises, There Brisket and Ribs are cooked when they buy them, they just heat them up in a warmer, they don't even have a smoker, But you are the expert you should have known this, and there food is better them mind what a joke. You should do a little research before you write such garbage. The only reason that store stays in business is because they get the tourists from (boutique located near competitors Q-raunt name removed), all the locals come to my place to eat, I have eaten at (competitors Q-raunt name removed) twice and will never go back again. Well have a nice day, I will because one bad review, doesn't bother me, when I take it from the source who made you an EXPERT, can't tell the difference between store bought pre cooked food, and fresh cooked food, you are a joke.

And my response...

Thanks for the kind words. I always appreciate feed back.
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Harry Nutczak
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Joined: 01 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09 14 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^^^^ EXACTLY^^^^^^

You do not want to come off as snarky.

Every restaurant owner thinks they have the best food, which we all know is not how it really is.
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qfanatic01
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Joined: 21 Oct 2009
Posts: 768
Location: Champlin, MN

PostPosted: Sat Aug 09 14 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that most posts, good or bad, don't really need a response and for the most part I have decided to let the chips fall where they may. I rarely respond. If there is constructive criticism I use that to improve my place. I chose to use this post, which was based on a visit 2 years ago, what's up with that?, to elaborate our beer policy, our commitment to families and enlighten folks on how crappy some people treat service industry employees who are just trying to do their job. I posted this on Facebook as well and it got more views in one hour than most of our recent posts got total and received 40 plus posts, pretty much all positive. The posts supported our commitment to our customers and employees. After 2 days our views had tripled to over 3600, 63 posts and 146 likes. My response was not a dig on the poster. It stated the reason for our policy. It may have made him look like an azz, but really WTH was that about anyway? I do get annoyed when customers don't say something if there is something not right with their service or food at the time. I used this lemon to make some lemonade, to be honest. Done right it can be positive. IMHO
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OKBBQEA
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Joined: 30 Apr 2007
Posts: 809
Location: Moore, Oklahoma

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10 14 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

qfanatic01 wrote:
I I do get annoyed when customers don't say something if there is something not right with their service or food at the time. I used this lemon to make some lemonade, to be honest. Done right it can be positive. IMHO


I think it's because most diners don't want to risk escalating an already bad situation.... I know I don't..... I really don't want to know how that owner I quoted above would have reacted had I said his ribs looked and tasted baked to his face.


It makes it more difficult for you as an owner but don't really have any good suggestions how to get around it.



I know I've caught some flack about what I do because I have kept my identity hidden. But I don't want the owners knowing who I am so I get treated/served like any other patron that walks through the door.
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qfanatic01
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Joined: 21 Oct 2009
Posts: 768
Location: Champlin, MN

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12 14 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have spent a lot of time and money on research around the country and evolving my set up to be up to par with what I've seen. I had one of my long time customers call me from South Dakota yesterday asking how to cook his ribs. I am always glad to share what I have learned. He said I spoiled him, he can't find any good BBQ where he moved. It was a nice stroke for my ego I guess, but I get confirmation of my efforts nearly daily as folks drive far distances to get more. That's not lip service. I'm sure there is some of that too. There are quality joints sprinkled around the country. I work hard every day to be one of them. I will guarantee that every great place occasionally has some lesser BBQ get out the door because of human error. We make ours from scratch every day and we are independent so we don't have pre-sorted meat coming in so we cook what we can get. I go to Restaurant Depot and hand pick literally a ton of meat every week.
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