Cafe's worst review now T-shirt

Last updated 05:00 28/05/2013
REVIEW THIS: Nikau Cafe waitress Rosa Yates wear a T-shirt with a twist.

Related Links

Can you share a cafe with your ex? Cafe charges for tap water

Relevant offers

Food & Wine

The Facts of Life: How the daily diet of Kiwis has evolved Aquafaba: the mysterious egg white substitute Thanksgiving : How to cook a perfect roast turkey Nelson wines amongst New Zealand's finest What to do with...Tamarind Recipe: Lemon-rubbed lamb & orzo salad Recipe: Pea, prosciutto & pasta salad Nigella Lawson Southland funding details yet to be confirmed Top New Zealand food writer Julie Biuso finds retreat on Waiheke Island Nigella Lawson - six things she should do in New Zealand

Wisdom says not to wear your heart upon your sleeve, but how about your cafe's worst review?

Wellington City Art Gallery's Nikau Cafe chose this rather unusual response to a particularly frustrating online review, posted two years ago.

Cafes and restaurants found dealing with anonymous reviews difficult, said Paul Schrader, who has owned Nikau for 15 years.

"We're slightly hamstrung in our ability to respond - the tone can be all wrong and you can come across as grumpy or sensitive or you might come across as a bit of an apologist."

Hearing Pizzeria Delfina in San Francisco had responded to their own bad reviews by printing the comments on tongue-in-cheek T-shirts for staff, Schrader decided to do the same for his "own sanity". The shirts were given to staff and will also be sold.

The lemon print refers to the reviewer's disdain for the proportions: "I know I go on about losing weight but not now please! Three pieces of halloumi cheese (ok) and three slices of French stick, not long cuts, but mean little piddly bits that were hardly browned and wow! a piece of lemon."

As the cafe tended to get positive reviews, he didn't see this as "a biggie, just an annoyance".

Schrader refers to review sites when eating out in a foreign city and knows the power the online reviewer wields.

"If it's one review that stops one customer from coming to you, that has its impact. The big issue is the anonymity."

Not all negative comments necessarily lead to a negative outcome, Hospitality NZ chief executive Bruce Robertson said. In fact, a complaint on a website gives a business the chance to show they do actually put things right. But others are simply "vexatious", he said.

"Some customers are simply unreasonable. They're a small minority but they can do significant damage."

Robertson said websites should take such customers into account and introduce a process for removing their reviews.

In the early years, businesses were often concerned by the skewed nature of reviews, with only bad - or exceptionally good - service rousing people to post.

But that had changed, said Miriam Warren, of Yelp. The near-ubiquitous smartphone meant people on sites like hers were giving reviews as part of their daily lives.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post


Recipe search

Special offers
Opinion poll

How does a strong cup of coffee make you feel?

More alert and awake

Jittery, anxious

It gives me an upset tummy

I feel no effect

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Laura Faire Cookbook Promotion