The other night I went to dinner at a restaurant that had recently opened. The place was lovely and the food was fine but the service was so bad, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you what happened.
Regular readers know I have a policy of not doing reviews on restaurants that have only been open a short while. The interesting thing is that I get a hard time about this policy from both sides. I get emails from some people telling me that I am too harsh on restaurants and they are trying their best and I should give them a chance. They say I have no right to share my negative impression with others and endanger the restaurant’s survival. They say my criteria are too limited and I should be more open-minded.
My response to all that is very simple. I am sick and tired of restaurants taking my hard earned money and not giving me anything in return. When I go to a restaurant and have a bad evening, whether it be because the food is below average or the service stresses me out or the place is dirty, it is a waste of my evening. I only have a limited amount of time, why should I have to waste it on crappy restaurants? What gives them the right to waste my time and money? My tastes are quite broad and I only give bad reviews when they are deserved. A lot of people feel the same as me. We are not the ‘Small Business Development Corporation’. It is not our job to go out and support the ‘little guy’ because he is trying to open a restaurant. It’s my money and my time, I want value.
Then from the other side I get a hard time from people who say that I should review restaurants soon after opening because they should not open their doors if they are not ready. They are charging full price so we should receive the quality of food and service we pay for. This is a very valid point, hard to argue against that logic. The reason I don’t review new restaurants is that I have in the past slated restaurants that were new, only to have them become favourites of mine a few months down the line. People still read my reviews years later and they don’t know that things have changed since then.
So, to balance both sides and find a happy medium, I stick to my policy of only reviewing restaurants if they have been open for a couple of months.