Why eating and tweeting can be a bad combination

Updated on 13 February 2012 | 0 Comments

Lots of people use Twitter to tell the world about their dining out experiences. Here's why one restaurant insider feels this isn't necessarily a good thing

It's great that eating out is such a popular subject on Twitter, even if sometimes it just feels like endless photos of “what I’m having for dinner” and the ever-irritating exclamation “nom, nom, nom!”

These days everyone can be a restaurant critic with just a few words on their phone. People can recant to their followers where they are, what they’re eating and whether they like it - or not. But if people are complaining, how do you deal with that if you're the restaurant being complained about?

Is everything OK?

We Brits have a reputation for not complaining, and in some respects Twitter seems to have provided a solution to this, yet it’s an element of the social network I have issues with.

One evening at work, I glanced at my phone and checked the mentions column – clearly there was someone in the dining room tweeting as they ate… and they weren’t having a good time. Their waiter was surly, the starters took too long, and the main course they wanted was sold out. On it scrolled...

Wherefore art thou?

I looked around the dining room, trying to identify perhaps a lone diner with mobile in hand or a furtive tweeter among a larger group – but there were too many possibilities. So, what to do?

I sent them a brief tweet, registering my concern, that I was there and asking that they identify themselves so I could help, but to no avail. Either embarrassed or wanting to remain anonymous, I didn’t find out who they were until the following day when I received a lengthy email from them.

A successful conclusion

All was well that ended well, apologies and explanations were offered as was a gesture should they visit again, but why not say something at the time?

A valid exercise or cowardice?

I’m not alone – one restaurant found themselves subject to vitriol and bile in their Twitter stream from a diner who only identified themselves as they left, saying they wouldn’t return.

This seems pointless to me, would you sit in a barber's chair, broadcasting to your followers how awful the haircut he was giving you was but not say a word to the man with the clippers? While a bad meal may not send you home looking like Moe from The Three Stooges, it’s something that’s hard to correct later.

Rather like Twitter, eating is about the moment. So don’t hide your light under a hashtag, speak up, make yourself known. But do refrain from the ‘noms’. No one likes a ‘nommer’.

Have you ever had to complain in a restaurant? Or have you been guilty of saying "everything's fine" then ranting on Twitter, TripAdvisor or Facebook when you got home? Let us know in the Comments section below.

More on eating out
Top five restaurant nightmares

Avoid this super-trendy restaurant con


Be the first to comment

Do you want to comment on this article? You need to be signed in for this feature

Copyright © lovefood.com All rights reserved.