Last night I sat around the dinner table with a bunch of friends. We ate, we laughed, we caught up, and then we all sat back and mulled over one of the most punk bitch Facebook posts I can recall seeing in a very long time.
Grown ass man dropping the Facebook equivalent of a subtweet.
Mike owns a Food Truck and Restaurant. I like(d) Mike. He cooks like a motherfucker. I’ve been pushing his food on people coming up on 3 years now because it’s that good. When I saw this post come up on Facebook, I thought it was hilarious. “Oh that Mike, popping off har har.” I handed my phone to everyone at the table because hey, if you’re going to shit on my friends, they might as well read it. Mike takes two shots here. One at my buddy Sid (a guy who bends over backwards to give props to every resto and food truck EVERYWHERE) after he called the now closed Randy’s Burgers “underwhelming.” OOOOOOH HARSH! The other is directed at me because it’s apparently against God’s taste buds to like frozen french fries in a world where you appreciate $11 hand cut fries (don’t worry, it’s only $9 special on Friday) or you’re a piece of shit. Better be in the industry folks, only the finest asshole can appreciate the level of wallet gouging we’re talking about here. To be clear; I said “these are the best frozen fries I’ve had… except McD’s you know.” We had a laugh. It was 8 MONTHS AGO! Damn son, how you hold onto a frozen fry line like it’s gospel? It’s OK, whatever you need to hoist up that pile of shit post.
I’m not even going to go in on Randy’s outside of saying they were the victim of Hamilton’s now very stiff competition.
What I am going to go in on is the idea that you have to be “in the industry” to have an opinion about food. That has got to be some of the most elitist stupid shit I have ever heard. Who exactly gets to say if something is good or poor? Can I get into an Industry Night circle jerk for the inside scoop? Does anyone know when the good folks from The Michelin Guide or James Beard are popping in? I’d LOVE to know so I can watch someone apparently worthwhile give an even handed review. They’re industry right? PROFESSIONALS! WE IN THERE! Oh they didn’t sweat over a stove so fuck them if it’s negative? What about if they hand your restaurant 3 stars and you pull in so much business you’re padding your ass with hundred dollar bills? After all, you’re going to need something to soften the fall when you’re bucked off that high horse. See restauranteurs LOVE Food Bloggers, so long as they slurp them in their write up. They LOVE Food Bloggers when they whore a photo on Instagram. They LOVE Food Bloggers when they tag the shit out of them on Twitter. You don’t get pop off posts like the one above when someone is dropping free local advertising AND dropping fat coin in your register right? That, more than anything is what pissed me off. You can ask ANY restaurant I’ve ever set foot in and reviewed. I don’t do comps.
Nobody thinks the customer is always right.
Here’s a photo of Mike “not believing the hype about food bloggers” after we all ate the entire menu of his new restaurant. We didn’t push for some free meal like some of his purported supporters. We didn’t push for advertising revenue to walk in the door. We came in, sat down, ate the whole menu, dropped a stupid amount of money, and then whored the entire experience all over social media because we want businesses to succeed. We don’t get paid. We don’t get comped. There’s literally ZERO upside to dropping coin and giving out free advertising. AWESOME GUYS! THANKS FOR COMING! Don’t forget to let me slap you in the face on the way out. How many “critics” are there in Hamilton? What if they shit on the very place the unqualified food bloggers praised? Do we get a nice paragraph worth of venom about The Spec? Hamilton Magazine? Oh wait… their food critics are also bloggers? WELL SHIT!
See here’s the thing. Some restaurant owners have two big issues and they always go hand in hand. The first is the idea that their food could in fact be hot garbage and they refuse to accept it. It’s OK to live in a bubble. You’ll just be out of business. You can take a look at any number of restaurants in any city across the world. They fail all the time. “Oh it’s the location.” “Oh the people aren’t ready for this concept.” “It’s on the wrong side of the street.” “The economy doesn’t support it.” How about “maybe we have issues and need to fix it?” Someone else comes into the same space and they blow up. Who’d have thought great service, food, and price would draw people? Who’d have thought listening to customers feedback would be helpful? Don’t worry, your opinion, dear patron doesn’t mean fuck all unless you love us. The second issue is they HATE the idea their customers now have a voice. It’s not the voice that complains to a manager. It’s not the voice that complains to their S/O or a few co-workers. It’s the voice that reaches thousands of people. Thousands of LOCAL people. Thousands of local people who can pull up a post at any time and read about a poor experience. That voice, now text, isn’t going anywhere. The Internet is written in ink. When it’s good, it’s good. When it’s bad, it’s REAL BAD! I once talked with a restaurant owner that said “you can have 9 bloggers blow you but that last 1 can fuck you in the ass and not even ask.” So what happens if the ever growing blog/Instagram/social media slut machine comes down on you?
Adapt or get bodied.
For the restaurant owners that read this and hate Bloggers after all your media invites, fake smiles, and half baked greetings, please take the appropriate amount of time to choke on a dick. Afterwards, what I’d recommend is to get a list together of all the members of your local anti blogger club, sign off on it, and then forward it to me. I’ll ensure that not a single blogger ever whores your restaurant out ever again. You’ll be rid of the pestilence that apparently destroys your hard work while entirely disregarding consistent praise. It’s a simple solution to your apparently persistent problem. I’ll even ensure that no one trashes any restaurant on the list.
After all; There’s a far worse thing than negative attention.