I was walking home from the train station on Wednesday, around midnight and was shocked to see the lights on in Sulston’s Kitchen.  Assuming I was going to surprise some burglars (although not sure why they’d put the lights on!), imagine my surprise when I see Ben and Kirsty Sulston still working!  

But why wouldn’t they?  They’re thriving, they’re busy, this is their livelihood and they, just like other business owners, want to deliver the best product & the best customer service that they can.

As Eat Around Tonbridge blogger, I chat to foodie business owners and, recently, I’ve been shocked to learn of some of the abuse that they suffer and I feel compelled to speak out. Sometimes the abuse is face to face and other times it’s behind the facade of social media; but regardless of how it’s delivered, it’s often damaging to the business and hurtful to individuals. 



I’m pretty sure that I’m preaching to the converted with this blog but please spread the word. This applies to all businesses, not just foodie ones:

Feedback, good and constructive, for any business is interesting – it can tell them something they didn’t know about their product or their customer and help them to improve.  But bad feedback is just that – it’s bad; not helpful, just hurtful.  

I’m not telling you not to complain if something’s gone wrong during your meal or evening out! Not at all!  But we must all go about it the right way.  Be polite in your complaint, give them a chance to reply and most of all, do it face to face or over email/phone, not social media or Trip Advisor. 

Proprietors are working hard and really doing their best to deliver quality.  As we all know, sometimes things go wrong.  Be generous.  Be forgiving.  Be kind. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so please fire away…

Eat Reviewer. 

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  1. Totally agree with the comment about not hiding behind social media – it’s much better to speak with the business face to face in the first place to settle any issues.

  2. Couldn’t agree more! It makes me so cross when people take to social media to complain about local businesses. Nobody sets up a business to annoy their customers on purpose. Social media can be so damaging to a small, local business.

  3. I agree completely. There is much that could wrong in the preparation of food. The hours are long (often from dawn to beyond dusk) hard (lifting heaving supplies and utensils) stressful being consatantly up against time constraints, and dangerous (working with knives and very high heat).

    Proprietors are so dependant on their suppliers for quality ingredients and small businesses cannot afford to be let down in this way.

    Its so easy in this day and age to take to the internet to criticise something we would never do ourselves without realising the consequences of our actions. As we know negative comments stay on line for a very long time and can do so much damage to a fledging company/ restaurant.

    Lets "accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative".

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