Last Update: May 14th, 2022

The Arrogance of the Soft Opening

A restaurant owner contacted us the other day, claiming that it was "unfair" to review their restaurant after only being open for a week. He claimed that this was a "Soft Opening"; I guess he thought that by declaring a soft opening the restaurant should be immune from criticism.

I had to think about it a bit. The truth is that a "soft opening" is BS. It's something created by the restaurant industry to try to shield them from criticism while they get their act together. Meanwhile, they're charging full price for their food and services. A restaurant opens, their TVs don't work, they're understaffed; the staff they do have is incompetent and they don't have everything on their menu available. So why am I paying full price as if the restaurant is fully operating?

Why don't restaurants offer special prices during these alleged "Soft Openings"? How about 10% off across the board. Or maybe some free samples. At this particular restaurant, there was no sign that said "Soft opening". There was a sign that said "Now Open".

Restaurants mistakenly think that they're doing us a favor by opening; that we should be so happy that they've opened in our neighborhood that we should be willing to pay full price without a full dining experience. Here's my view: If you're not ready to open for the public, don't open for the public. Serve family and friends or employees. Or give some sort of deal in exchange for acting as training fodder for your staff. The idea that you can make full margins while using the public as guinea pigs is arrogance in it's ugliest form.

My response to this owner was "Do you think it's fair for your customers to have to pay full prices at a partially operating restaurant"? His answer was a profanity laced tirade. Like I said. Pure arrogance.

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What restaurant complained? This article is from a while ago, right?

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