I didn’t intend to post a review for Richmond’s Prince Alfred on farfromfamished. It was a pretty poor experience and I didn’t believe it warranted the time and effort to produce a full post; however in my opinion, it did necessitate a review on urbanspoon.
What I didn’t expect was a phone call from the Prince Alfred, on the same day I posted the review.
This post is not about the review. It’s more about the events that followed and observing how influential social media is these days. I guess some context will better establish my rationale for this post, so you can find the review here.
So, on the evening of the day I posted this review to urbanspoon, I received a phone call from Caroline at the Prince Alfred, who not only apologised for the indiscretions we experienced in both the meal and the service, but also confirmed that a number of actions had taken place since the review was posted; including agreeing the paella was bad and it should have never been on the menu. Although she was also at a loss as to what alleged pre-mixed shandy might have actually been lurking downstairs in the cellar and I still am unsure as to whether the ‘wine guy’ is actually on the payroll at the Prince Alfred.
We continued to chat about what did work, what the Prince Alfred was aiming for in terms of offering its customers and it all sounded favourable.
On the back of our conversation, Caroline offered the opportunity to prove themselves in both the food and service that they feel they can offer by way of complimentary food and beverage for me and three guests, which after some thought and discussion with a few people, including a couple of bloggers, I politely declined.
If I wasn’t a blogger, I probably would have taken up this offer. As a blogger, even through it’s not my profession, integrity and balance in what I write comes first and I don’t want to compromise this.
In no disrespect to the Prince Alfred; it’s always going to linger in the back of my mind that although they might be going out of their way to ensure everything for me on this complimentary visit is just perfect, are all diners going to receive the same experience?
Complimentary meals aside, the important thing is that instances like this demonstrate that in a time where diners are more discerning than ever before and referring to ‘non-professional’ reviews as a means to deciding where they’ll spend their dining dollars; it’s gratifying to see that the Prince Alfred is taking the feedback from its patrons seriously to get it right.