What did you think of the meal?

I’m not sure if it was Friday night knock off drinks or simply the spirit of goodwill but This Girl picked up the phone to give a colleague some positive feedback.

How often do you give feedback?

They don’t get phased easily and genuinely want to work together peacefully baby. There’s not a lot of ego to manoeuvre.

I’ve worked in a lot of offices in my time and I know we’re often quick to judge but not so quick to let people know what they do well.

Everyone makes a contribution and if you pay attention you can see it.

I like to let people know that I’ve noticed them but I’ve also noticed that it’s often met with scepticism. My call was, but I got a follow up warm fuzzy text giving the love back.

Positive feedback is the gift that keeps giving.

What about when the feedback isn’t positive but it’s given with the best intentions?

Tell me the truth.

I know right? No one wants that. My much loved friend Bradley who died two years ago used to say ‘Does my arse look big in this? Do I look stupid?’

Suggesting a wardrobe change to your partner or giving feedback to a staffer is not always much fun, but what about dining out reviews?

Over five years of blogging, The Two Girls have honed our focus on the positive. Like we always say, we’re not Pollyannas but we don’t see the point in scathing critique either. There’s enough negativity in the world. If we really don’t like something, we won’t blog about it.

The Two Girls chose a venue close by for a catch up lunch recently. It’s in the Entertainment Book and it’s licensed, seemed like a no-brainer.

It didn’t take long before we both agreed we weren’t going to write about the café. It’s only the second or third time it’s happened in five years. We can usually find something good to say about each place we visit.

This time, not so much.

They offered up a feedback sheet from the Entertainment book – The Other Girl hesitated, pen hovering over paper, This Girl couldn’t stand it and wrenched the pen off her and wrote some brief notes. She told me later she was frozen by the thought of having to give less than positive feedback that wasn’t anonymous. Handing the feedback over it didn’t feel right not to speak to it. I started by saying ‘You must have noticed that we didn’t eat much of our platter’ and finished with ‘We want places to be successful so we’ll send you through some more detailed feedback.’

Later that day we messaged the café starting with ‘We came for lunch today with the intention of writing a blog post but have decided not to do so. We gave some brief feedback to our table attendant and said we’d follow up with some further information. To her credit, she was open to our feedback which can be confronting. Please let her know that we appreciated how receptive she was. Our first observation was that the café is lovely inside…’

We then went on to describe both some limitations in the menu, meals and service and more importantly, what they could consider to improve and potentially excel in what they do.

It’s the sort of advice you could sell even if it’s a hard pill to swallow.

Needless to say we didn’t hear anything back.

Food service feedback is a contentious thing. Eating out in Tassie won’t support a post if you haven’t fronted the establishment first. The other side of the coin is how you handle the feedback you receive.

Like we said in our message ‘If you make changes please let us know so we can consider a return and a blog post. Kind regards.’

What’s your experience of giving feedback when you’re dining out?

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