So I’ve been sitting on this until I went back to the restaurant - the restaurant being Plan Check. I wrote up a nice review on why I thought the place was less than stellar on Yelp (here, read it, it’s funny), and the owner didn’t like what I had to write.
But I decided, well, with too many places in Los Angeles to get a hamburger and not wanting to give the restaurant any money, I figured I’d tell the story on how a restaurant owner can really turn a patron against a restaurant that he goes out of his way to tell people not to go to the restaurant as it’s not worth it.
So here’s the gist of it - and those how know me know I don’t forget much, unfortunately - so it’s pretty close to it.
I post my Yelp review - remember, go read it, it’s well-written - and I hear from Plan Check and they ask if they can contact me. I reply sure, thinking they’d email me … and I get a phone call from the owner (the money man), who immediately starts in on me about my review, saying I’m wrong.
Um, okay, I’m wrong that the food is overpriced and small? Hmm, alright but that’s my view.
So the owner is browbeating me about where I can find a better burger, and I mention Comme Ca where the burgers are much bigger (8 ounces versus the 4-5 ounces at Plan Check) and are of the same or better quality. And, oh, they come with pomme frites (those are French Fries, which the dude kept mispronouncing along with the restaurant name). I also threw out other restaurants I go to in LA that might have similar prices … but more food, and the same if not better quality.
But no, he wouldn’t hear my complaints or issues. I was wrong, not his people. I was wrong, the cold food wasn’t cold, it just seemed that way. And the bigger joke of it all … he was there and saw the staff screwing around and not working, but I don’t think that clicked or he groked it.
While $60 isn’t out of order for lunch - I’ll pay it at other places - I expect warm food, good-sized portions and not to be treated rudely. Unfortunately, Plan Check misses on all of that.
And for the executive chef - great, you came from Umami. Try to do something different instead of trying to out Asian Umami. It just shows you aren’t that creative, which is too bad/sad.
So here’s the thing. I’ve done restaurant PR before, and the industry is littered by the bodies of people who get into the business without knowing the costs, the time, and more. It’s littered with empty places that had money guys behind them that think it’d be fun to own a restaurant. And, well, it’s not.
The fun, interesting side note is that my friend gave the same one-star review, and also received a phone call from the money guy. A month passed - from where they went from 4.5 to 3.5 - and she had a very different experience, where he was all nice and cordial.
I’m sure people have a good experience, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the restaurant hung around for a year or so because it’s different for the area. But they have a lot to learn about dealing with people.