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Sorry it didn’t hit the mark

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Sorry it didn't hit the mark

I’ve had nearly a week to think about the story I’m about to relay and whether it makes me sound entitled, or demonstrates a lack of empathy, or is a valuable lesson for PRs. Hoping that it’s the latter, here goes.

I’m in the very lucky position of being invited to new restaurants and understand the importance of media people giving visibility and feedback. On the flip side, if somewhere has major problems, it’s better to keep quiet and/or give a private response.

So an operator I know a little from his previous restaurants DMd me to say he was working on somewhere new and he’d love me to come to one of the early nights. An agency I had never worked with (they’re more lifestyle/influencer than food world) then booked me in. To cut a long story short, the night was a disaster – we waited an hour and a half for food. I kept thinking the wait staff were heading my way, hence not querying things sooner.

Eventually we left, in search of dinner elsewhere, at which point both the operator and maitre ‘d talked to us, but not the PR rep, who had been there all evening. I explained that these things happen but it was a shame no one had noticed – and this is a restaurant inside a theatre, so hitting service time is pretty essential.

The reason I mention this sad occasion is that the PR didn’t follow up at all – not to apologise (which I would have thought was pretty basic), but also not to ask for feedback, of which I have some and it’s constructive – new places inevitably have glitches but I can see where tweaks need to be made.

They got plenty of content for social media from other guests on the night, so perhaps my views don’t matter to them. But a quick ‘sorry it didn’t hit the mark, would you like to come back?’ email wouldn’t have hurt. I haven’t named the restaurant or the agency here, you’ll notice, but have discussed it privately with a few PR and restaurant industry friends. All think it’s poor and shortsighted not to be in touch. What do you think?

What Lisa thinks…

“An informative, well-paced press release from consistently good Fraser Comms – I found myself reading further than usual, not just because of the restaurant’s curious name…”


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