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The Bonneville
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Zagat.....we have a problem!!!

This is an open letter to Zagat. As Chef/Owner of The Bonneville Restaurant I'd like to address your recent carelessness and call you to take some action to make things right. A Zagat Austin survey was apparently taken recently and many of the local restaurants were "reviewed" including ourselves, The Bonneville. 

Unfortunately the review does not appear to be of us but is definitely under our name and address. It is at the very least suspect and we need people to understand it is neither a fair nor accurate representation of The Bonneville Restaurant. First the pictures associated with the review are of another restaurant.......not just any restaurant but a FAST FOOD CHAIN, you can tell by the chopsticks and little bottles of soy sauce on every table. For those of you who don't know us, we are not an Asian Fast Food Chain. In fact this could not be further from who we are and what we do. But apparently Zagat thinks it is. WOW! This is both damaging to our image and reputation but that's OK you'll look into it. You'll see if you can post some new photos. 

Secondly, the review posted has no supporting information. It is apparently about us but is a very poorly written review. Based on what we've seen, I wouldn't be surprised if the scores are also of the Fast Food Chain Restaurant. The supporting reviews linked to the site are from Google where we have a 3.8 out of 5 rating - a very positive score. Additionally, we have a solid 4 star rating out of 5 stars on the other online review sites, which makes the Zagat review and photos not only inconsistent, but inaccurate. Furthermore, all of our reviews from the journalists of record in town have been unanimously raves- how do you explain the inconsistencies in your scores?

I was recently contacted by someone from "Zagat" asking if I'd like to purchase a plaque documenting our review to hang in the restaurant. I was surprised because I didn't realize we'd been reviewed. So my answer was "We've been reviewed?" to which the gentleman replied well you have one review. One review. So, my restaurant, my reputation, my staff and our opportunity for success moving forward is put in the hands of one review?? A review that I cannot with any confidence believe is even about us?? It's flat out irresponsible! You've put up pictures of another restaurant under The Bonneville and completely misrepresented my restaurant- how can I have any faith that this review is accurate let alone even about us. On top of which I am stuck with this crap until you survey again in the Spring of 2016. I have to live with this for 2 years?? This is GROSS negligence and absolutely unacceptable. After multiple attempts to contact Zagat and get something done we have received word that they are "looking into it" and will see what they can do about replacing the pictures. Not Good Enough!!! You have already damaged us and hurt my business. We demand that the review be removed and that you apply some journalistic integrity. Leave us un-reviewed!

Let me be clear....this is not about the ego of a chef crying over a bad review. This is incorrect information that damages not only me and my husband but all the people who work for us. All the people we have a responsibility to. People who count on us for their jobs and a paycheck, our supply chain....the farmers, the ranchers and all the suppliers we work with. There's a direct link to each and every one of them. You've carelessly and callously hurt each and every one of them. You don't have to like us or what we do but you do have an obligation to be fair and truthful. We didn't get into this for the reviewers or reviews and for the most part do not read them which is why we didn't see this until now. We are two cooks who have been able to realize a dream. A dream that's been a lifetime in the making, an enormous struggle and more work than most people will ever understand. But we do this because we love it and have found love along the way. We take our responsibility to each other and every one of our staff members very seriously. We have an obligation to people whose livelihood depends on us. Think about that the next time you carelessly misrepresent someone. Sites like yours and other online review sites have the ability to affect us personally with what you write and what you post. It may seem like a small clerical mix up to you but you have just affected my business directly, my people and my bottom line. People will look at your review site and make a judgment on whether they dine with us or somewhere else based solely on the information you post. That directly affects me, my people and our success. You have more than an obligation for the information to be accurate and quite honestly you owe us at least that. 
Jennifer Costello & Chris Hurley
The Bonneville
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