LIVE TO EAT: “7 steps to try before resorting to a bad review on Yelp.”

A satisfied customer (Catania 2016).

While staying in Porto in February, we enjoyed a wonderful meal at a family-operated eatery called Taberna Stº. António. It’s near the university quarter, and seems to be successfully keeping both locals and tourists fed and satisfied.

Except an American who wrote a one-star review on social media. Now, it helps to know that just about every source of information about the Taberna Stº. António concurs that reservations are a good idea owing to the small size. There are only 10, maybe 12 tables, and for dinner service, the establishment is geared to turn them once, then clean up and go home.

We walked past at about 6:00 p.m., an hour before the restaurant begins evening seating, and thought it might be expeditious to make a reservation. It took all of a minute for the friendly bartender to record our names in the old-school notebook. It was a wonderful meal.

Another satisfied customer (Porto 2018) 

Accordingly, the reason for the one-star take-down from the clueless American, which occurred a few weeks before our excellent experience, was that he came to the Taberna Stº. António without a reservation, it was fully booked with no available tables, and so BOOM, a negative review: how dare they not have space to seat us?

How can you give a bad review to a place you haven’t even entered? It still annoys me. Click through for the details of how better outcomes result from communication between real people.

7 steps to try before resorting to a bad review on Yelp, by Neil Swidey (Boston Globe Magazine)

We don’t always have to air our grievances about a business with the entire world before telling the business.

1. Be timely.
2. Be resourceful.
3. Be firm but respectful.
4. Be honest.
5. Be succinct.
6. Be clear that you are interested in having management restore your faith in the business.
7. Be generous with feedback.