Having a Dining Disaster? Talk to the Manager

Staff Writer
With this service, every cellphone is a comment card
TalkToTheManager
TalkToTheManager

TalkToTheManager

Picture this: It's a Sunday morning, and you're meeting friends for a meal at a hip new neighborhood restaurant that's been getting great reviews. You finally sit down at the table after waiting the requisite 45 minutes for brunch and order your food — but when you take that first bite of your applewood-smoked bacon it's limp, soggy, and cold.

These days, it's common for diners to whip out their cellphone straight away, open their favorite user-generated review app, and share the details of their unpleasant dining experience with the public. In these moments of tension and stress, TalkToTheManager is there to help.

Founded a month ago by John Washam, TalkToTheManager strives to put diners in direct contact with the restaurant's management, so that instead of immediately posting a nasty review, the restaurant has an opportunity to correct the situation with their customers.

So how does it work? Participating restaurants post signs around their dining room with a phone number that customers can text to report issues and concerns — the text messages are sent to the restaurant's manager and owner, who then have the ability to mend the issue and respond accordingly.

Right now, TalkToTheManager is available to restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, and it has already started to gain popularity around Seattle and Atlanta. According to Washam, "The restaurants are excited to use it primarily as a way to avoid complaints ending up on Yelp and other review sites, but additionally to create a connection to customers that demonstrates openness and a willingness to listen."