Friday, October 7, 2011

Why YELP? Three Austin Restaurants Close; More on the Way?

Why YELP? 

Three Austin Restaurants Close; More on the Way

Cody Lyon of the Austin Business Journal delivers the bad news: Three Austin restaurants close; more on the way?
"They always say that high profiles death’s comes in threes. That was the case this week in the Austin restaurant scene. In one week, three of the city’s widely known culinary destinations — The Belmont at 305 W. Sixth St., El Abor at 3411 Glenview Ave. and Hickory Street at 800 Congress Ave. — all shuttered their doors. Could more closures be on the way?"
The answer appears to be "Yes", even though the Austin economy is doing well.

Good restaurants, and any good business, deserve the praise. They deserve the exposure to a wider audience. Your recommendation might entice one more person into their establishment. Don't recite slogans or advertising language - What did you like? What makes this place better than others? 

What would you tell a friend about the experience?

My Review of Teji on Yelp:

Not your Mother's Indian Restaurant.
In fact, you probably don't want to take your Mom unless she is open to hole-in-the-wall, less than spotless dining. Teji is "in the back" of a small grocery store. They do a ton of take-out, and have room for 12-14 people to sit down for a meal. Waitress was helpful and fun to chat with. 
The food is great. Hot, not too spicy - although you can have them dial it up if you like blood coming out of your eyes. Very large menu, with goat and vegan options (ummmm, goat). Try the lentil soup.

In the middle?

Many restaurants, many businesses, fall somewhere in the middle, where a few minor fixes can really help them to the next level. Your feedback, assuming they are paying attention, can lead them to fix the problem. 

Z'Tejas YELP Review:

No zip, no zing, no pizzaz - the waiter was sleep-walking.  
Waiter was asleep. Party of 7, first round of drinks, appetizers (boring), takes order, another round, dinner arrives... water arrives, delivers wrong soup, delivers wrong meal (actually 3 wrong plates + 1 soup were placed on the table and taken away). Check arrived 15 minutes after the table was cleared. 1-Star service.
  • Roasted caulifolower soup, 4 stars
  • Chile Verde from the appetizer menu 3 stars (wife's is better). 
  • Jack + Club soda put me at ~$30 without ordering a main course (eek!)
And -- the parking (0 stars) is HIDEOUS! Unless you are driving a smart car or motorcycle expect to 1- park outside the main lot and hike in, 2- park in the main lot and get your doors dinged, 3- fish out a few more bucks to pay the valet to park in the 2/3rds of the lot reserved for valet parking.
Z'Tejas' manager called me after the post. Everything but the parking can be fixed. They may get another try. 

On the Slip Side:

Bad businesses deserve a quick and fitting end. Make sure your feedback is accurate, and that you present a few facts to support your opinion.

Payless Shoesource Example:
If you like the super stuffy feel of a designer shoe store - you'll love this place. Staff ignored everyone, and didn't even break their conversation while we were checking out. You get all of the attitude with none of the quality  (Returns will happen on Monday). 
Went over to Prime Outlet and paid more for Sketchers. The Sketchers store was super busy, but we got help from both cashiers during the visit.
Payless is a total waste of neon lighting.

Bottom Line: 

Reward your favorites, encourage the rest! 
A well considered review is worth gold.


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