Monday, 13 July 2015

Afternoon all

Right, I'm in a bit of a grumpy mood today (although we have just had one very bit of exciting news this morning which I'll share with you soon) so lets get my one main gripe at the moment out of the way shall we!

Trip Advisor!!! Love it or hate it, know about it or couldn't care less about it, there is no doubt it has an impact on business's up and down the country and around the world.  In fact there have been cases where business's have gone to the wall because of it. There has also recently been an enquiry into the authenticity and validity of Trip Advisor and this type of review website.

Now we are mostly in the top three for Salcombe and are currently at no 1 (have been for a little while now) but do you know what - it still manages to bug the hell out of me!

To be in the top 3 and stay there you rely on good consistently scored reviews and lots of reviews.  So mostly, we manage to achieve that. Now just as in life, you can never be perfect at what you do. 

But - We try our hardest, we will of course occasionally make mistakes, but they are genuine mistakes and when they happen  we are genuinely sorry and we always do our best to make things right. IF customers tell us! So, in common with many food outlets - we take the order, fulfil the order, and then we do a 'check back' - 'how are you  doing Sir - is everything all right for you - can I get you anything' type of check. That is the customers chance to say 'well, actually ############!

At the end of the meal when offering the bill we also enquire as to the customers satisfaction with what they've just had. So 2 or more opportunities to say if there was an issue.  But no 'Fliss' from Torquay recently took to TA for her first ever review to have a  moan about a Ploughmans she 'didn't' enjoy and it was a 'rip off', whilst another anonymous person (of course) also had a moan about a Steak which was 'thin and fatty'!!

So the ploughman's in the picture above is generally what we actually serve (although it is missing a half an apple) and how we serve it at £8 - I'm not sure what part of that meal is a rip off? Would you like to comment on what you think?

As for the other person complaining about their steak - well everywhere they reviewed in Salcombe they moaned about something.  They were pleased with one place that refunded and replaced a meal however.  But we didn't refund or replace on this occasion but we did offer a free pudding which they declined.

They also had the most dreadful moan about a fantastic award winning pub in South Pool. Like me the owners responded to the complainant, and like me they seemed genuinely hurt and puzzled at the complaint!  I have even had a conversation with another restaurateur (not in Salcombe) who has had ill founded reviews and is on the verge of throwing in the towel in the business.  

Now of course after nearly 7 years in the trade now I am much less likely to bust into tears at a poor review or post a sarcastic reply (although not always on both counts) but I am still puzzled at the great British public who hiding behind anonymous pseudonyms behave and write as they do???  If I don't like some part of a meal or the service is poor I will say so at the time - if I genuinely liked the experience I'll say so and tip handsomely.

But my thanks and immense gratitude to all of you who do write positive reviews about us and keep us in one of the top spots on this double edged site. Thanks also to the chap who e mailed us this morning to say what a great two visits he'd had to us last week - things like that restore my faith in people and my team are always buoyed up by feedback like that.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh I do feel better now - nothing like a bit of a rant is there!

So back to the normal type blog things - firstly our Gin offering has increased to 17 types of Gins now as St Austell have extended their range that we are able to choose from (remember we're fully tied tenants so ALL of our drinks have to come from them) some utterly fabulous ones as well - already Pinkster Agreeably British Gin is proving to be a firm favourite - this is a small batch Gin with hints of Raspberry.

Others now include King of Soho (fantastic bottle) served with a wedge of Grapefruit (fantastic), Boodles - named after the worlds second oldest members club, Haymans Old Tom and Sipsmith London Gin just to name a few. There's no doubt Gin is very 'On Trend' right now and we hope you enjoy our selection chosen by Landlord Tim (taste tested by me - mostly!).

Our summer team are continuing to join us as school, college and university finish times allow - our latest recruit is Nicholas (Nic) who has joined us in the kitchen - a smashing lad, incredibly bright and not at all afraid of sheer hard work! He's with us all summer virtually and if the rest of the team are grafters like him, we'll have a good summer!  In fact, all of our young people on our existing team work really, really hard and are all a thoroughly great bunch of kids - bless 'em!

Talking kitchen and food etc, there is a growing trend away from innovative plating of food (think wooden boards, slates, boxes, plant pots - yes, plant pots!) back to a simple plate - do you have a view on that?? If so, do let me know please as we are already looking forward to the Autumn and planning of new seasonal menus and different ways of presentation.

Also, do you have a favourite West Country Cheese you'd like to see on our Cheese Boards - my new favourite is Cornish Blue!!! Heavenly.

So that's it for this time, thank you to all those of you recently who have stopped me in the pub to say how much you still enjoy my ramblings (and rants) and I'll try to blog again soon,

Much love

Licensee Liz x


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