A local Breaux Bridge restaurant recently shared a story that may change the way you look at restaurant reviews.

In the age of social media, the ability to look up information on any product or brand before we make an investment is priceless. Gone are the days when we are oblivious about things before we show up or make a purchase.

While having reviews embedded in platforms like Google and Facebook, as well as websites like Yelp, and Amazon, it's almost impossible for consumers to remain oblivious when it comes to products and services that businesses offer.

On the flip side, businesses have to stay on top of their game, because bad reviews could easily keep a potential customer or client from walking through their doors or, in some cases, affect how they show up depending on what potential consumers may be searching for.

While the idea of reviews can be great for both businesses and consumers, the system is far from perfect—which is why I always take them with a grain of salt. We'll get into more of that later because right now I want to share a Facebook post from Cafe Sydnie Mae that shines a light on why we may want to put a little more thought into how and why we leave reviews online.

After receiving a couple of reviews that were sub-five stars, Cafe Sydnie Mae shared this very personal message on their official Facebook account.

There are a couple of takeaways here, and I'll start with the obvious. It is not uncommon to have our personal lives spill into our professional lives. For anyone who has had bad news, bad nerves, or a bad morning spill into their workday, you totally understand where I'm coming from.

While most of us try to check our personal feelings at the door in order to do the job at hand, it doesn't always work out that way. Also (if we're being fair), customers should never be "required" to curb their expectations when it comes to getting the goods or services they are paying their hard-earned money for.

Like many things in life, the right answer is often found in the middle. I think that's why this post from Sydnie Mae has been shared so much on social media.

Facebook
Facebook
loading...

The owners totally understand how reviews and feedback works and believe they can help grow the business. But they also take so much pride in their work and their brand that they want the opportunity to make it right—even if it means getting a phone call over the weekend from a customer who wasn't pleased with the service.

In our profession, I constantly tell employees and colleagues that nasty messages, criticism, or dissatisfied phone calls aren't necessarily a bad thing as most people don't give you any warning that they're leaving—they just change the station.

I don't know about you, but I've been in plenty enough restaurants to know when bad service is the exception and not the rule, but the one thing that Cafe Sydnie Mae's post accomplished was it reminded me to not forget the human element when it comes to the digital world of automated ads that we tend to get caught up in from time to time.

Google, Gabby Facetti
Google, Gabby Facetti
loading...

Just like every bad review doesn't tell the full story about a restaurant or a product, neither does every good one. I'm always skeptical that a rave review could easily be a friend, cousin, or a person who wrote a good review to support a buddy or family member. I've got a friend who doesn't even look at restaurant reviews and only uses them for products like vacuum cleaners and other big purchases where she can find the parallels amongst all the entries to get the best idea of the product she has in mind.

We've also got the luxury of Facebook groups that focus on local eats and different products in the community. (I highly recommend joining Foodies of Lafayette.)

Facebook
Facebook
loading...

And then there is good old word of mouth. A tried, tested, and true system that will always prevail in the test of time.

In the end, I think it says something for anyone who won't settle for anything less than five stars and I'm also certain that the "bad reviews" that led to this very vulnerable Facebook post will also lead to a few new customers who want to check out what these folks are all about.

Something tells me they'll be ready for 'em.

50 Famous Brands That No Longer Exist