After years and years of daydreaming, you finally decided to make it happen – your own little business!
It may not be much, but it’s yours and you can’t wait to reap the fruits of your labour (and use said fruit to pay at least some part of the loan that enabled you to venture into something as ambitious as being your own boss).
At first, you were afraid that you would fail and have no one else to blame but yourself, but you left that fear behind and decided to have faith and be optimistic. Everyone who has made it as an SME had to face the same fear, and where would they be if they had let it get the best of them? Right, where you were yesterday.
You take a deep breath, turn your computer on, and google your restaurant’s name. Yelp shows up at the top of your search results.
“Ok, calm down. Despite its name and notoriety, Yelp also hosts good, or even excellent reviews,” you tell yourself, your inner voice shaking somewhat.
With your heart in your mouth, you click the link…and there they are: two one-star reviews and a single two-star review.
Ok, let’s see…
“I had the misfortune of eating there yesterday, and I had an awful experience. I ordered their dessert ‘special’ and it contained carrots. I don’t like carrots and there were carrot bits in the cake! What if I was allergic!?! All in all, awful, avoid this place.”
The words “why would someone order a carrot cake and then be surprised there are carrots in it” pop into your mind, but you quickly regain composure and consider excluding carrots from your menu altogether.
“But what if there are people who dislike other vegetables? Or even worse, what if a vegetarian comes to my restaurant and sees there’s meat on the menu? Should we start serving vegetarian food only? Perhaps it’d be best if we switched our menu to vegan-only, just to be on the safe side…”– choo choo, goes your train of thought.
Before you decide which side to be on, vegans or meat-eaters, you seek further knowledge in the next one-star review comment.
“This restaurant doesn’t care about its patrons at all! Me & my husband came here to celebrate our anniversary after which we had to hurry back home as our babysitter was to be off in half an hour. Of course, our food took 20 minutes to arrive and we could only take a bite of our main dish (the lamb chops were TOO hot) before we realised we won’t be able to finish our meal. Thanks for ruining our anniversary!”
You remember this one. They quickly went through their starters, ate half of their main course, and only managed to eat a small spoonful of crème brulee each as they were in such a hurry. They were so angry that they refused to pay since the restaurant “caused them inconvenience and ruined their celebration”.
You could have sworn that all dishes which take longer to make were marked in the menu, however, you shrug that off – after all, the customer is always right!
Off to the next review.
Sigh…at least this one has two stars.
“I used to come to this place with my mum every Thursday. However, my mum is a frail old lady whose eyesight isn’t what it used to be and last Thursday, as it was quite rainy, she slipped and fell down the stairs at the entrance while we were leaving. Luckily, she’s ok now, she only got a few bruises. I’m sure that she wouldn’t have fallen if there was a handrail there. I had pointed out the fact that their stairs are a bit unsafe for the elderly to the waitress several times, and she always said she’ll see what she can do, but I don’t think this actually reached the owner – I hope he’ll see this review and react. I won’t risk bringing my mum anymore until this is sorted out, although she will miss her chocolate mousse.”
You feel really bad. The poor old lady is the nicest woman you’ve ever met and you don’t want to lose the two of them as customers. You decide to talk to the waitress and check why she hasn’t told you what the regulars asked for.
Then you go online to look up someone who can install the handrail – it never occurred to you how dangerous the stairs can be for the elderly, it’s actually a good thing that the young lady brought that to your attention. You make a mental note to pack two chocolate mousses next Thursday and let her take them to her mum for free.
You quickly glance over the other fifteen five-star and six four-star reviews for your restaurant, turn off your computer and sigh, wondering if there will ever be a day when you have happy customers.