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Friday, July 9, 2010

The Influence of Bad Reviews

Last Father's Day, I scoped out a few places on the Internet hoping to find a hidden treasure. I mean, we love Studio Square beer garden and Bar 43 but I had my heart set on making a new discovery. As I Googled the usual key words for places that were kid friendly and served beer, a couple of suggestions came up. Then I read the reviews.

As a rule of thumb, I don't always take their word for it. If there's five reviews and two of them are bad then I consider it a warning. But if the two bad reviews are harping on the same complaint and it happens to be about the food or the service, then I'll pass no matter how much the "good" reviews rave about the place.

It's our money. It's our time. I'm not risking it on an iffy situation.

As I presented places to go and then retracted them after the bad reviews it made me wonder how businesses, especially restaurants overlook bad customer service. In New York City, there's practically a place to eat every two feet - there's no excuse for less than stellar service. From the Maitre D' to the bus boy, I expect a smile and good manners at the very least. I'll even forgive mediocre food if the place is friendly.

It's the main reason I avoid McDonald's - it's the worst of fast food chains in my opinion. Honestly, I take my kids to Mickey D's maybe once or twice...a year. I hate their food, I hate what they do to food and I especially hate how they try to pass it for healthy.

I don't expect McDonald's employees to be happy - as a matter of fact, I don't even think the customers are happy, they're just addicted. Just because McDonald's has a formula that almost guarantees regulars doesn't mean that the employees should be able to get away with terrible customer service.

At the McDonald's on 39th Place in Sunnyside, Queens, my five-year-old got very upset when a grumpy old custodian violently grabbed the garbage from my hands because I was about to throw it into a can he just lined. I know how kids feel vulnerable when their parents are involved in altercations so I try to avoid them but this was ridiculous.

I told the old man, if you hate your job so much that you need to take it out on the customers, then go work for the Post Office! Because I can understand not being appreciated for buying a 42 cent stamp but I can't see ever, assaulting a customer for simply throwing out trash. I mean, I realize it was a new liner and all but seriously, have your dementia someplace else.

So if my kids never eat McDonald's again, I'd consider it a blessing. And to all those businesses that think customers grow on trees, all I gotta say is, where's the beef?


  1. You should have had Samu kick his ass!

  2. I hate Mcd's and they always have the pissiest people least you were not leaving the trash on the table

  3. Or bite or pinch or scratch him...

  4. Next time - if there is a next time, I WILL leave the trash on the table.