I recently posted a review of a restaurant that I've had some issues with. The Cliffs Notes version is that I've been served non-vegan bread after ordering a vegan meal (at a restaurant that has a specifically vegan menu so I think I have a right to expect that they know what that means) and their pricing for foods that are both vegan and gluten-free are not listed so I ended up being charged double what was on the menu for vegan to have it also be gluten-free.
I contacted them via email before posting a review and they responded kindly and explained their stance, which I can respect. It's their restaurant and they can charge what they like. I then posted my review on here even referencing what they told me, and tried to be honest yet respectful to the best of my ability.
The restaurant has contacted me through Happy Cow and asked me to reconsider my review. I re-read it and I still stand by what I said, but I'm curious if anyone else would consider changing a review if asked.
They are an independent business and I know the review on here affect business. I also know how few restaurants will cater to our needs sometimes so I don't want to scare businesses away from being vegan-friendly.
That said, I also don't think I want to review favorably just because of those things. If my experience was less than stellar, I want to be honest. I think I'd rather take down the entire review than be dishonest.
Thoughts are welcome and I thank you!
Posted by DC1346 at 07/05/13 20:49:00I think your review is your review. You were served a non-vegan bread with a vegan meal. You had the goodness to contact the company before posting your review. They explained that they retain the right to make policy changes. Who's fault is it that they didn't make the necessary changes to the menu? Is it yours? No it isn't!
As a consumer, you have the right to receive what you ordered. If the menu says vegan, it should be vegan. If the menu says gluten free, it should be gluten free. Although the restaurant may change its policy, IF THEY DON'T TELL ANYONE, who is at fault? You? Again, surely not!
The restaurant in question has made 2 mistakes.
1) They didn't change the menu to reflect the change in policy. This can legally be construed as false advertising. It could also create liability issues for them if someone with gluten allergies orders gluten free bread. They're a restaurant. They should understand about food allergies. Depending upon where this restaurant is, the kitchen manager, lead cook, and/or executive chef should all be ServSafe certified. As a chef and former restaurant manager, I myself am certified by ServSafe as a Food Safety Protection Manager. The issue of non-vegan non-gluten free bread being served should never have come up. Someone bungled ... and it wasn't you.
2) When you wrote to them to express your concern, they had a chance to make this right. Since I have been a restaurant manager, I will submit for your consideration that their customer problem resolution skills, though polite, were also wrong. They had the opportunity to make things right. A sincere apology and the offer of a complimentary vegan meal with gluten free vegan friendly bread would have probably caused you to amend your concerns. They failed to do this. They stand by their policy change but since they didn't change the menu, how was anyone supposed to know this?
They deserve a rebuke.
If they don't like it, that's truly unfortunate. They should either make their menus consistent with policy changes or revert back to the old policy.
Whining after your posted review will not change the fact that you were given a raw deal i.e. non-vegan bread that wasn't gluten free despite what the menu said. From what I understand, you were also overcharged.
The bottom line?
You are a consumer. You have a right to your opinion.
If your opinion causes them to revert back to the original policy, well and good ... and if not, then other customers need to be aware of what happened.
Posted by eric at 07/05/13 21:32:36There are always two sides to a story.
Redheaded Vegan- I think it's great that this restaurant cares enough to respond to your review, many don't.
To me, it sounds like there is room in this story for the possibility of you not having read everything or maybe their menu was not presented well. I understood that what you ordered was not strictly taken off their vegan menu and may have been a combination from both menus. Please see if there could have been a misunderstanding with the menu, and if so, explain this to them so it's clearer for the next customer.
Posted by Redheaded Vegan at 07/07/13 09:04:59Thank you both for your responses; I appreciate your thoughts.
At this point, I think I'm going to leave my review as is. I stand by my opinion, and nothing I said was an exaggeration, and I truly believe that a restaurant that caters to people with food allergies needs to be more careful what they serve folks.
Moreover, I still believe being charged $20+ for a menu item that was only listed as $11 on their vegan menu is unconscionable. With an up-charge that high, someone should have made sure I knew what I was getting into when I ordered. I waited tables for 8 years and always made a point to let customers know when they would be charged extra for something.
I would appreciate any other opinions. I love this sight and value the community very much, and I know I certainly rely on reviews to help me find places to eat, especially when I'm traveling.
Posted by StephenS at 07/11/13 17:35:00Stick with your review. Unless the owner tries to bring you into the fold with some free swag and a conscious effort to attempt to keep the same couple of 'mix-ups' happening to others.
The idea of a Vegan pie being more expensive then a non vegan is preposterous to me. For that alone I would give a bad review. Sounds like they are more interested in covering the gamut of dietary lifestyles as opposed to caring about those lifestyles. Understandable for a business - but does not necessarily speak to any kind of real understanding of veganism.
If it was an all veg or vegan restaurant I would say maybe cut em a little more slack if they try to make right - but since they serve meat also - who cares. We should know when an establishment is motivated by profit rather than morals. Stick with your review so the rest of vegans can see - and hopefully - choose an alternative - like an actual veg restaurant.
In a side note - there are way too many meat serving restaurants on this site now anyways. We need to be harsher on them and more forgiving and supportive of the veg spots.
BTW - I read your review - was very well put and explanatory from my perspective. Keep up the good work :)