Monday, April 11, 2016

Rant: Who The Hell Sent You?

Every month, a significant number of local restaurants close and you can check out Boston's Hidden Restaurants Closings & Openings to view which restaurants shut down each month. It's not an easy industry and restaurants need all the help they can get to survive. Consumers have so many choices and restaurants must compete and try to stand out. Restaurants seek out ways to draw in new customers and it can be tough to know what works and what doesn't.

Maybe they should be asking their customers, Who The Hell Sent You?

Okay, they probably shouldn't phrase it that way but the sentiment is valid. Restaurants would love to know the reasons why their customers first come to the restaurant. What brings them through the doors for the first time? Did they read a review in The Boston Globe or Boston magazine? Did they read a blogger's review, like one of my own? Did they see a Facebook post or Tweet about the restaurant? Was it word of mouth from a friend? Knowing the answer would immensely help restaurants determine the best ways to attract new customers.

Unfortunately, most customers seem to fail to tell anyone at the restaurant the reason that brought them there. A small number do speak up and it is well appreciated by the restaurants. When I used to write a local newspaper column with restaurant reviews, some of my readers would subsequently check out a restaurant I reviewed and tell the owners it intrigued them to visit. The owners were pleased to know the reasons for the increased traffic, and it helped them understand how many people read the local people. With my blog, I know some of my readers have done the same, telling the restaurants who recommended them.

In this regard, maybe restaurant servers could ask new customers what led them to dine at the restaurant. In addition, customers should take the initiative and tell the restaurant personnel about the reasons that led to the restaurant. Not only do you do a small favor for the restaurant, but you do a small favor for the person who recommended the restaurant. I know I greatly appreciate anyone who reads my reviews and lets the restaurants know my words led you to check them out. Let your voice be heard and speak up at the restaurant. It will cost you no more than a few moments of your time.

Please, tell them who sent you.


Frederick Wright said...

That's a good point - we dine out maybe 4 or 5x per week and nearly all of our visits to any restaurant are made with reservations thru systems like Opentable or UReserve. If it is a first time visit, I usually do leave a comment about where I heard about them, typically one of the Boston bloggers I follow. I'm being taken out for my birthday to SRV in the South End, and the main reason I picked that place is because I love Salty Pig so much.

Richard Auffrey said...

Kudos to you Frederick for telling restaurants what inspired you to visit them. We need many more people to do that too. And an early Happy Birthday to you. Hope you enjoy SRV!