Should FnB businesses be more receptive to online reviews and comments?

A SOCIAL media post that first appeared in Kuching – Then and Now Facebook page has literally stirred the hornet’s nest.

The since deleted post was a simple one-line review of a well-known and established rojak stall in Kuching known as Rojak Kuchei. The poster mentioned:

“Just had rojak for lunch, taste seemed to have changed after many years didn’t go there. A little disappointed though. (RM9)”

However, this simple review did not go down well with the business owner’s son who posted a rage-filled retort, accusing the poster of insulting his father’s business reputation. He even threatened legal action against the poster for simply stating her observations and preferences.

The post has been shared on various other forums, eliciting plenty of responses, mostly lambasting the shop owner’s son for his over-reaction.

On the Malaysia Education Info (And Homeschooling Too) Facebook forum, the rojak seller’s son was told to discern between constructive criticism and insulting remarks.

Quite a few netizens were of the opinion that the outburst did more harm than the original poster’s remark.

Some even dug out older posts that also gave less-than-glowing reviews to Rojak Kuchei, asking if all the previous posters will be similarly threatened with legal action.

Of course, taste is subjective and everyone is entitled to an opinion without being slanderous. What business owners need to do is take it as constructive criticism and not over-react as the stall owner’s son did in the above posting.

Social media is not going away anytime soon and FnB (food and beverage) outlets should strategise accordingly to deal with any positive or negative remarks posted online.

Throwing a tantrum over a netizen’s less-than-glowing experience does little for a business’s credibility. FnB is a notoriously tough industry, some tact and public relation skills would be the order of the day. – Jan 16, 2024

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