Sherman's Food Adventures: More About Crawfish King

More About Crawfish King

Wait. This is Saturday... Why is there a post? Well, I felt compelled to continue the discussion regarding Crawfish King. You see, there have been some people on Twitter in addition to other various comments that have been negative towards my post. I can totally understand why. After all, I basically ripped into a family run location of Crawfish King. If you have been a consistent reader of this blog, you know very well I DO NOT take my blog lightly when it comes to affecting people's livelihoods. In fact, many have criticized me for being too "soft" or "forgiving". Hey, I'm in a no-win situation, you can't please everyone. So I am cognizant of all the issues at play when I post on my blog. In the case of Crawfish King, the entire incident was completely true and not exaggerated. I have 7 other people with me that night who can echo the same sentiments (or worse). Now why did my post rip into them so harshly when I rarely, if ever, do it in my 1300+ posts? Simple, we gave them ample opportunity to redeem themselves and showed incredible patience over a 2+ hour ordeal. We played along nicely and even stayed at the urging of the manager. We did warn him that for us to stay, there had to be a good reason and compensation for our wait. However, he didn't come through and slapped us in the face with nothing more than a courtesy discount. In fact, Milhouse thought it was a bit of dishonesty on the manager's part because he wouldn't say what kind of compensation we'd get. In the end, he wouldn't even come out to discuss it. It was more of a take-it-or-leave it approach. Talking about unconscionable. We did nothing wrong in this whole predicament. The restaurant was at fault. Plain and simple. I am not in any shape or form backing down from my stance. That is how strongly I feel about it.

To give them the full opportunity to redeem themselves, I actually left my card (which I rarely do) for them to hopefully contact me so I could add their response in the blog post. No, we weren't looking for a free meal or anything. We really had no interest in going back because the food was not to our liking. Rather, I really wanted to give them a chance to right a wrong. Nope, they didn't email me at all over the 3 days prior to the post going up. I even tried with tweets. No reply. Therefore, the post went up as is. I am not going to mince any words when the experience was so bad and the lack of response too. I wasn't expecting preferential treatment. I just wanted some form of acknowledgment. With a Twitter account and Facebook page, I don't think it is too much to assume they should do what most restaurants would do - correct the problem. Especially one as valid as this one. Was the post harsh? Yes, it was. But that is how I felt as a customer (and others too in my party), and I just so happen to have a blog. The lack of professionalism and integrity by the staff and manager wasted our time. And to top it off, the food wasn't even good. Some would point out I should just post good experiences and forget about the bad ones. I don't see it that way. Sure, I rave about places where people should go and also panned the places people should avoid. Everything is fair game. If you run a restaurant or any business, you should do it with the customer in mind. I've been in retail before and that was exactly our mandate - to keep customers happy.

Sure, my blog does have some influence, but let's be real here. If a restaurant is going to fail, it is not going to be due to my blog. I've posted negative things about Kawawa and Po King. They are both in business and still doing well. So no, my blog doesn't close down restaurants. Restaurants fail all by themselves. If they stink, they will fail. Check on Yelp! and Urbanspoon, my experience at Crawfish King was not unique. In fact, it is more often than not. If they are going to fail, they will fail on their own merit. Not my blog post. Again, my biggest issue was their response to the problem and lack of care after the fact. As much as it seems like I want them to fail, I don't. C'mon. I don't wish ill-will on anyone. I saw the family-run operation with the kiddies in the kitchen. We realized it was their first 2 weeks in operation, so things would be chaotic. But even looking past that, the bottom line is the restaurant did not do its due diligence to fix a problem. We gave them ample opportunities during and after the fact. Most customers would merely leave without ever saying a word. What will ultimately affect their longevity are their own actions.

16 comments:

holly said...

Wow, talk about the power of the internet these days.

I have always found your food posts to be fair and you always strive to be honest about your experiences. That is what I appreciate about your blog. I don't want to read someone's whitewashed or biased views as I feel that every reader has enough brains to decide for themselves whether they want to try a place or not. Afterall, not everyone's tastes or experiences are the same.

In the end, just be true to yourself and trust that your loyal readers (like me) can discern whether to try a new place or not.

Please keep sharing your food experiences, as I for one really enjoy reading them.

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

You don't need to defend or justify your words and/or actions to anybody. Your blog, your prerogative. Or live and let live. Both options equally valid, equally justified, eh?

Donna said...

I have always found your posts to be very fair and honest. If you posted only fake positive things every day, it wouldn't be real and I wouldn't be as loyal a reader.

It's a shame that other readers made you feel you need to justify yourself. Keep up the good work.

. said...

I have been reading your blog for quite some time, and if anything, I think you, your friends and family are very forgiving about food and service. That is why, when you take an honest stance where you are not your usual forgiving self, some people balk. Do not feel bad. IMO you are an excellent and fair food blogger... one of the best.

Sherman Chan said...

Thanks everyone for their kind comments. My intention for this post was not to garner any sympathy. However, I'm just tired of all the damning comments I get from people who obviously do not read my blog on a consistent basis. I pay for most of my food from my own pocket. My advertising revenue is small and doesn't come close to making up for the money I spend. Hence, I do not have any other motives than what I did this for in the first place - a passionate hobby. I try to be as honest as possible, even with comped meals. If I dislike something, there is a good reason. This one was particularly bad. And I wanted my post to reflect it. I gave them every opportunity to respond. They didn't. Not my fault.

Etienne said...

nah dont worry about it, I bet all the people that complained were friends/family of that place or completely stupid/looking for a fight.

I agree that on average you are soft but who cares? You aren't looking to be an a-hole Simon cowell type, you just love to eat and share your experiences. Sometimes they will be bad and we want to hear about it :)

Still waiting for that "My picks" section to be added to:)
"best burgers", etc. Good place to start would be to grab the first 10-12 in the "Cuisine" tab on the left :)

Crispy Lechon said...

I just hope they heed whatever you said in these 2 posts and fix whatever needs to be fixed. I for one will be sad to see this restaurant fail. It is a nice change to the predominantly Asian cuisines here in Richmond. I think its the only Cajun style crawfish/seafood boil restaurant in Greater Vancouver.

sam said...

OMG! You are the most honest, reliable, and fair-minded food blogger i have ever read. I have followed your blog without commenting since the beginning because I think you are a decent and thoughtful person. Quite frankly, you have integrety and do care aboutbwhat you post and its ramifications. You are in not way responsible for some else's poor, rude, inept, or unprfessional operation of their own money-making venture. In the end the owner is there to make money by peviding us a pleasurable, delectable, and above all, memorable dining experience for our hard earned money. Cheers Sherman! Keep up the excellent reviews.

krispymilk said...

Don't worry about it. You have a blog, you put yourself out there, and there will always be people who don't like what you say. Just stand by what you believe in :)

LotusRapper said...

@ Crispy - I don't think Crawfish King's future hinges on Sherman's words. Sounds like the restaurant is digging its own grave as-is. Sherman is simply reporting his experience (and of his friends') that night honestly and factually. IF Crawfish King does go under in the near future, it'll be a sad lesson learned by their owner/management. Sherman need not apologize or feel embarrassed for his account of what happened.

exitstrategiesweb said...

Hehe. Something sure got into your "craw" Sherminator! Even a puck to the head could not dislodge your painful memories it seems. Next time I'll just have to take a full wind-up.

But seriously, I can attest to your easy going style even when you don't particularly enjoy some of the food or experiences. Always a fair opinion, never scathing.

Where we going next?

- Kaiser Soze

exitstrategiesweb said...

Hehe. Something sure got into your "craw" Sherminator! Even a puck to the head could not dislodge your painful memories it seems. Next time I'll just have to take a full wind-up.

But seriously, I can attest to your easy going style even when you don't particularly enjoy some of the food or experiences. Always a fair opinion, never scathing.

Where we going next?

- Kaiser Soze

Tony1968 said...

I really look forward to reading your food blog. i THINK YOU do an awesome service by fairly and honestly (humorously) reviewing your dining experiences. I was actually a bit sad when you stopped posting on saturdays. Anyways, i noticed that very often we get crappy service in chinese restaurants (not always...but very often). You said so yourself many times and you Sherman are chinese , right? I'm caucasian and everytime i go for chinese food i always lower my expectations for service in their restaurants..no matter how polite and cleanly dressed i am, the chinese servers/owners make me feel like i am only there to pester them. That is why 99% of the time i will usually just phone in for pick up only. I find the vietnamese restaurants very friendly and warm to deal with. Most chinese places have the rude attitude of ''what you want?! order! eat! pay! get out!''. Anyways, like i said, Sherman you have an excellent blog here...no need to defend yourself...some places need to be called out and hopefully others take notice and positive changes come from it. If not..too bad to those lousy restaurants!

NicNac said...

You have support from my corner.

I've been reading your blog for a few years now and this is my very first comment. That's right-in two years I have never felt any need to comment on any post in here until now.

I completely agree that you need to post the bad and the good. Otherwise, why would I read a food blog?

Keep up the good and thorough work. And keep eating! My restaurant choices sometimes depend on it. :)

Crispy Lechon said...

Don't get me wrong. I fully support Sherman's views. I have been an avid follower for many years. I respect his reviews and I appreciate that he is honest and does not hold his punches. He calls it the way he sees it. I only expressed my sympathy to the restaurant. Its not really a big chain where if one location did not become profitable, they can just close it and open in another location. I understand that Sherman's post will not really cause their downfall. Its going to be from their own doing if they did not improve on the areas mentioned by Sherman. So I just hope that they will do what's necessary to remain in business here.

LotusRapper said...

@ Crispy - my apologies to you sir, for responding in a way which, in hindsight, regrettably sounded curt. I think I mis-read/mis-interpreted your comments, and as a result, went off on my own tangential blathering.

I agree with your comments. Let's hope for everyone's sake, Crawfish King pulls up their bootstraps and fix whatever needs fixing, and start doing things right.