Search
The Caterer

Even tough customers deserve some respect

25 November 2011
Even tough customers deserve some respect

You can barely change the channel on your TV without stumbling over a show related to hospitality.

If it's not Gordon Ramsay alternately sweating and swearing as he drags some restaurateur up by the bootstraps, then we have Alex Polizzi chiding hoteliers for their standards of hygiene, or Fred Sirieix demanding higher levels of service from sullen teens.

But for most independent businesses, a dressing down from a TV celebrity would hold little fear, by comparison with coming face-to-face with their biggest critics - the Trip­Advisor reviewers.

Thanks to Channel 4, that horrific prospect became reality for a handful of businesses in Attack of the Trip Advisors - aired, not inappropriately, on Halloween.

The critics did not come across well. We had Ricky who marked the corner of the B&B bedsheets with a biro to check if they had been washed each night.

Then there were Sean and John, whose checklist for establishments they stayed at was so long, it was a wonder they had time to do anything else during their stay.

But sadly it seemed the programme's producers had chosen one or two of the businesses for their idiosyncracies too. Colin at the Olde Forge in Norfolk appeared to be doing the right thing by inviting TripAdvisor Catherine back for a meal after her scathing review, but the personal comments he and his partner Sarah made about her as she arrived (out of earshot) were ill-advised. It did little to enhance their image as a hospitable business.

If the programme turned out largely to be about fomenting confrontation and doing its best to present its subjects as oddballs, it also did something else - it served as a reminder that treating customers , however eccentric, without sufficient respect can be dangerous.

By Neil Gerrard

E-mail your comments to Neil Gerrard here.

Tabletalk
Tabletalk
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/tabletalk

Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs

Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs

Blogs on Catererandhotelkeeper.com ](http://www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/blogs) Catch up with more news and gossip on all Caterer's blogs
[E-newsletters](http://www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/email-newsletters.htm)[ For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our E-newsletters
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!