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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Unread 03-24-2014, 04:43 PM   #1
HBMTN
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Default New BBQ Joint getting ripped on reviews.

There's a new BBQ Joint just opened in my area that is my competition in BBQ and catering (they have a restaurant and we just cater and sell concessions). They opened in January and I tried their BBQ and I thought it was somewhat lack lustered hey that was just my opinion and theirs was not much worse that other places I've tried up and down the highway and I've kept it to myself. I was searching the internet and found that they are getting ripped with some bad reviews online and rather than feel good about my competitions boat has a big hole in it and may be sinking I feel bad for the guy. Some of the reviews were kind of harsh and maybe not deserving and I kind of feel myself wanting to defend them but I know as a business man that I should probably just keep quiet but I still can't help but feel bad for them. How should I feel?
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Unread 03-24-2014, 05:20 PM   #2
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Well, your own opinion was lack luster over all, and the only thing you could do would be posting your own review to counter the negative ones, but if your being honest, you'd be damning them with faint praise even still. Lots of places fail. Not your fault. Nice of you to be empathizing though.
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Unread 03-24-2014, 05:26 PM   #3
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Do someone a favor, even anonymously, and you might be surprised about the favors that come your way. If it were me, I'd write a fair and honest review, and would even mention that I'm a competitor, but that's just me.
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Unread 03-24-2014, 05:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
we just cater and sell concessions
So you don't have a stand or restaurant?
Except for the catering, they are not your competition.
Believe it or not, poor BBQ to folks is better than NO BBQ.
I'd UP my game in the catering department,
DO NOT TRASH them to potential clients.
That show bad business skillz.

Aside from the logistics (nightmare) of catering, which you are
probably WAY more skilled - clients have a choice -
meager and unknown - or superior and proven.
Like I said I bet you really don't have much competition.
Let those on the road eat their stuff.
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Unread 03-24-2014, 07:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gore View Post
Do someone a favor, even anonymously, and you might be surprised about the favors that come your way. If it were me, I'd write a fair and honest review, and would even mention that I'm a competitor, but that's just me.
The problem here is that the OP has pretty much a "meh" opinion of the food. An honest review would reflect that, unless it was something like no better or worse than the other joints around. Unless sincere suggestions for improvement with details were added to the commentary. Which could actually make a decent review now you mention it.
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Unread 03-24-2014, 09:15 PM   #6
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If you feel the critiques are unfair, call them out.

These public reviews can be like shark feedings, and no restauranteur benefits when the reviews become more about being negative, than advising or helping. In the end, more restaurants and more food options is better for all concerned. More people coming to an area to eat means there is more foot traffic. Unfair is unfair.
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Unread 03-24-2014, 09:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
If you feel the critiques are unfair, call them out.

These public reviews can be like shark feedings, and no restauranteur benefits when the reviews become more about being negative, than advising or helping. In the end, more restaurants and more food options is better for all concerned. More people coming to an area to eat means there is more foot traffic. Unfair is unfair.
Couldn't agree more.
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Unread 03-24-2014, 10:36 PM   #8
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"if one of my competitors were drowning, I'd shove a hose down their throat and turn on the water." Ray Kroc.

That's a little harsh, but I always say that while I wish my competitors in business health and wealth beyond their wildest dreams, I will do everything can (legally and morally) to force their business to fail. Don't bash them, but stay quiet. If someone ever asks you, you can give them your honest opinion, and qualify it with it being your opinion, but you're sure they're great guys.
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Unread 03-25-2014, 11:35 AM   #9
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throw them a positive review. As much as it seems like competition, without a brick and mortar, he'll almost always get more catering jobs then you will. A solid relationship could lead to some jobs getting thrown your way. Bad karma in business, no good.
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Unread 03-25-2014, 11:42 AM   #10
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Stop by and talk to him in person. You will know if you want to post anything online after that.
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Unread 03-25-2014, 11:45 AM   #11
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I am not a caterer or have my own restaurant but let me give you my opinion what do you want to do? It almost sounds like you want to help him. If it were me and I really felt bad for the guy go and just go up and introduce yourself and tell him you are in competition with him and you know he is getting a lot bad reviews and tell him what you think needs improvement and maybe throw a bone to him and give him a few ideas. Bad business sure but sometimes helping someone out even when it may hurt is the right thing to do. You may make a life long friend or he may get angry but it never hurts just to say hello and give an honest opinion be upfront you are a competitor though so he can decide whether your advice is good or not. He might be desperate enough to listen. Don't give all the secrets away but let him know his problems. If I was bombing in the restaurant game and I had as much money invested as he probably has then I would want to listen.
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Unread 03-25-2014, 12:33 PM   #12
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A cautionary tale:

A foreign car manufacturer (who had previously shipped a model to the US that was the Yugo/Corvair/Edsel of its day and summarily discontinued) invited the Big Three execs to their plant to explain a problem they had with a new model.

They could not expand the engine compartment, but needed more horsepower out of the engine they were using. Could the Big Three help?

[Aside: most of you who are at least in your late 40s know the answer to this.]

Of course they could. It was so simple. Increase the size of the cylinder.

The foreign car manufacturer thanked the Big Three and implemented the change.

The name of that company: Toyota. The model they sent after the changes had been made? The Corolla.

Game, set, match.

On one hand, I admire your willingness to help a fellow businessman/BBQer out.
On the other hand, you don't see McDonald's, Coca-Cola, or Starbucks (or any professional sports team) telling the competition where they're making mistakes.
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Unread 03-25-2014, 12:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinJohn View Post
A cautionary tale:

A foreign car manufacturer (who had previously shipped a model to the US that was the Yugo/Corvair/Edsel of its day and summarily discontinued) invited the Big Three execs to their plant to explain a problem they had with a new model.

They could not expand the engine compartment, but needed more horsepower out of the engine they were using. Could the Big Three help?

[Aside: most of you who are at least in your late 40s know the answer to this.]

Of course they could. It was so simple. Increase the size of the cylinder.

The foreign car manufacturer thanked the Big Three and implemented the change.

The name of that company: Toyota. The model they sent after the changes had been made? The Corolla.

Game, set, match.

On one hand, I admire your willingness to help a fellow businessman/BBQer out.
On the other hand, you don't see McDonald's, Coca-Cola, or Starbucks (or any professional sports team) telling the competition where they're making mistakes.

I agree with you, but in this case I'm not sure he's a competition... Maybe, a little, but even with fair reviews I dont think that his catering business will suffer... Me, I'd give the guy an honest and fair review, praise that which is praise worthy, critique those things need improving without throwing them under a bus.
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Unread 03-25-2014, 02:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gore View Post
Couldn't agree more.
I second that. We are planning on selling our mobile kitchen and going brick and mortar at some point soon. I have always felt a bit helpless with the freedom presented by some of the online review sites. It seems to me that no matter what, you can't please everybody but at the same time, give somebody a chance to gripe and they will probably take it.

I think its wise to be very cautious about what you read when you consider online reviews.

regarding how to feel; I don't know man...I'd probably drop him a personal note and bring the reviews to his attention just in case he has not had a chance to respond properly.

Competition is the nature of business- but a little bit of kindness goes a long way and will come back to you in the long run.

my 2 cents
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Unread 03-25-2014, 02:59 PM   #15
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Meet the guy. You'll either want to help or condemn him after that. I agree with a few people, he may throw business your way for catering if you get along and he's booked, or vice versa.

BUT, keep in mind that there's little that can be won trying to "defend the honor" of somebody on the internet, especially when it's an opinion they have made. You're more likely to start a flame war on the review thread than really change anybody's mind about their visit.

I'd just let it go - we all feel for the place, it's in our BBQ DNA to want things to work out for small local bbq but there's very little you can help and still stay a competitor across town. If his food is lack-luster, why try to help out? Half of us brethren make better food than any restaurant, so leave him to his fate.
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