Trip Advisor..Yelp ..etc
I have been thinking about this topic for a long..long time. I don't want to come off as whinny, but do feel that the topic of restaurant reviews is really in need of some balance, which is not possible on Yelp or Trip Advisor. All restaurants are subject to reviews on a number of internet sites. Anyone can submit a grip or glowing review. I can handle a bad review if it is legitimate. we have had a few. One common thread or complaint is the service. Being in a rural location makes it difficult to access how busy you will be. Servers are hard to find and none want to come to work to not make little or no money. Bottom line is we are sometimes understaffed and sometimes overstaffed.
Our first priority is to accommodate our reservations..but of course being at an inter-state highway exit we get walk-ins who are necessary to our business. Not unlike many restaurants to creates some time issues..waiting for food. As the only chef in the kitchen, I too get bogged down. Most of our regular customers understand this and think the quality of the food is justification for the wait. People who do not know us sometimes think otherwise and may vent on trip advisor or yelp..
Unfortunately there is really nothing we can do, but apologize.. We can not offer excuses as Trip Advisor and Yelp management do not permit "negative" or contrary responses from owners as a rule. Thankfully most people reading a particular restaurant reviews look at the body of reviews to judge the quality of the establishment. Yelp appeals to a younger crowd..and so we don't have many yelp reviews. Trip Advisor appeals to travelers.. and we have done well enough with them to be a "Readers Choice Award Winner last year.. We do very well with Open Table..which typically appeals to city folk who eat out regularly and have a good grasp of the dining market. I believe open table reviewers are more sophisticated dinners who appreciate what we attempting to do nightly here.. admittedly not always perfect.
Because we are a small operation..we wear many hats and involved in all aspects of the business. We would love to respond to all the reviews but time does not allow for it. Oh and for the record being a Tavern ..is not akin to a bar..or a dinner.. Many taverns are excellent eating establishments...Thanks for reading!