How I review a Restaurant or Hotel.
We eat out at least twice a week and although I have dined at just about every restaurant in Durban – at least twice, I am always loath to write a review for the following reasons.
Vaughan and I have always owned our own businesses and are very passionate about what we do. I am therefore very qualified in the compliment/complaint ratio which generally runs at every 10 good jobs you do, you will get 1 compliment if you are lucky and for every mistake you make you will get 1 complaint, and that complainant will tell sometimes up to 10 other people which means in fact you now have 10 unhappy prospective clients! After 20 years in the design industry that is exactly how it works and I am probably guilty of the same as daily I experience so many good deeds, and often don’t take the time to compliment the person openly, but oh my gosh let someone let me down….
I am so very aware that a review is something that has to be written sensibly and the writer has to remain neutral and unemotional about the content in order to give a true reflection of the experience. Readers are taking in your every word as they are trying to decide if it is worth a visit to the place you are writing about. The author has to be extremely honest as you don’t want to write gilded reviews about every restaurant and when your reader visits it ,their experience is the opposite. They will soon stop reading your reviews.
At the same time one cannot be flippant about petty issues or rave about a restaurant for reasons such as – you socialize with the owner. If it is to be of any use to anyone you have to be 100 % true. My advice to readers is to do your homework, and try it once if it is a venue you had planned to visit. Restaurant crits are often based on a single visit and it could have been an off day.
I would prefer my reviews to give you the reader information such as what food to perhaps choose, what ambiance and the service to expect and perhaps a nice position in the restaurant that you should request to be seated in. Often these little hints help to create a wonderful dining experience.
So welcome to my opinion. I hope that restaurateurs who don’t like what I say will perhaps read my review through different eyes as in actual fact this review is for you! The ones who do like what I read…I am hard to please so well done.