In today's Gazette there is an interesting article curated by Lesley in which she interviews chefs/restaurant owners about current trends in the restaurant world. It's a fun read, and gives a lot of insight into the perspective from the other side of the stove:
At first I disagreed with the section in which all the interviewees bemoan customers who tear apart restaurants on trip advisor, (chowhound), etc following bad meals, but after considering it I think it's maybe a good point. It is rare that a professional restaurant critic or travel book will publish a scathing review of a restaurant, and maybe the same unspoken rule is best applied for amateur reviewers. In this sense, those restaurants that don't get reviewed are those that don't deserve a visit. This is especially because the harshest reviews online typically seem to come from people who have unfounded/unreasonable expectations (i.e. those who viciously complain about the chalkboards and noise at Joe Beef). This is obviously a tough rule to enforce, but its something I'll personally keep in mind.
Not all of the responses are completely reasonable, and they essentially reaffirm my choices of restaurants to frequent and those I'll continue to avoid, but its interesting to read some of the unintuitive things that front-of-house do and do not find objectionable. For instance, there are few objections to customers requesting that music be turned down or meat be cooked to different degrees, but several exceptions to dietary/allergy stipulations).