This has been based on the excellent piece on PwC about the restaurant sector at the end of 2017, with additional commentary from me based on developments in 2018 and my view of the market from the inside.
The relationship between a server and a customer can feel like an adverse one at times. Quite often, this is because the two parties simply misunderstand each other. I benefit from the experience of both working as a server, and being someone who dines out on the regular – so I understand what the dynamic is like from both sides.
I’ve been running restaurants for a little over 10 years now and employees have always been a fickle bunch; here today, gone the next. It’s a sad fact of the industry that employees, especially the more junior ones, hop between jobs. Sometimes they are just doing the work to fill in and earn some cash before their next real gig comes along. Sometimes they are just lazy and go back to claim benefits rather than work for a living to improve their situation over the long term. But over the last year, and especially this year, the new recruits-cum-leavers have been the worst I have ever seen.
As a restaurateur with two businesses listed on TripAdvisor, we noticed a change when Priceline bought TripAdvisor. Apart from the modernised interface, the slight colour change and a few other updates, the biggest change I noticed as a business owner was the introduction of paid-for listings.
I read a letter from Tucker Max in the book Choose Yourself! which I thought totally on point about dealing with negative online trolls. It was written to James Altucher about his blog, but can equally apply to any field where you get public feedback. Here is the letter, and I also recommend the book (link above).
Or why your Espresso costs that much.
Back in December 2015, Hannah C from North Yorkshire left an angry TripAdvisor review for Bennett’s Cafe and Bistro in High Petergate complaining that she was on a tight budget and still charged £2 for a cup of hot water and a slice of lemon.