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In the age of the online review

In the age of the online review, it’s just not good enough to be satisfied anymore.

I pity the Courtyard restaurant and the Oddfellows arms in my home town of Stratford-upon-avon. Out of 154 restaurants in the town reviewed on Tripadvisor, they are the only two that are below average. At school I was taught that average meant somewhere in the middle, however we are lucky enough in Stratford to have 152 eating establishments that are above this kind of acceptable, middle of the road, level. We are either truly blessed in Shakespeare’s town as the epi-centre of fine dining, or more probably, average is now viewed as a term for ‘not good enough’.

It’s not just restaurants, we are asked to review everything these days. I was called recently and asked about the holiday I had booked through a travel agent. In rating the facilities of the hotel, I was given five choices.

a. Excellent
b. Good
c. Satisfactory
d. Fair
e. Poor

I told the caller they were C. satisfactory i.e I was satisfied with them. She was clearly disappointed by my answer.

‘That is a shame. What can we do to improve the facilities?’

‘Nothing’ I said, ‘they were satisfactory.’

Why is it that everything has to be above average (which is obviously impossible)? And why are we expected to review everything, and I mean everything, in superlative terms.

When you take delivery of a Parrs product, I simply hope that you are satisfied with it. I don’t expect it to be the most life-changing acquisition you have ever made and that your very existence was meaningless before it arrived.

Also I want you to know that you have paid the right price for your purchase, and that is why we have the Parrs Price Promise. Because, after all, we want you to spend your hard earned money at all the above average culinary gems that occupy the high street of your home town.


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