Neri Naig responds to negative restaurant reviews, says she’s still learning ropes of business
Neri Naig has been able to make a name for herself with multiple businesses, but she has learned she cannot please everyone.
One dissatisfied customer of her restaurant Neri’s Not So Secret Garden in Tagaytay took to Naig’s Instagram on Friday, June 14, to comment about her experience. The restaurant serves Filipino food and features local bands—Naig’s husband is “Parokya ni Edgar” frontman Chito Miranda.
A certain Astrid (@astridbee1) complained of “sh*tty service,” citing restaurant staff who were frowning and scowling at them. The Instagram user mentioned, too, that there had been multiple complaints on social media about the restaurant, but that they were not being addressed.
“Wag mong gamiting pangalan nyo pati mga local bands na invited nyo to sell your ‘resto’ pero di naman kayo maayos magserbisyo sa customers ninyo,” the customer said.
(Don’t use your name and those of local bands you invite to sell your ‘resto,’ but you cannot provide good service to your customers.)
“Pustahan idelete nya tong comment ko na to at baka iblock pako (Let’s bet she’ll delete this comment and block me),” the irate customer said in another comment.
Naig replied to the comment, explaining that the restaurant, which opened in February, was still on soft opening. “I am so sorry po kung nakareceive po kayo ng sh*tty service sa aming ‘resto.’ Sana po ay makabalik kayo para makita nyo po ang improvement ng @nerisnotsosecretgarden.”
She said the customer must have come during a dry run of the restaurant. Naig mentioned that they have a new manager are fixing their systems. She admitted that she had no experience in running a restaurant. Naig joked, too, that she would join Astrid’s bet in case she would win.
The response struck the wrong note with the customer, who viewed Naig’s reply as sarcastic and said Naig should have sent a personal message if she were “really concerned in improving your resto.”
On Friday, Naig described her restaurant in a post on Instagram as a “normal tambayan (hangout spot).”
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Normal tambayan lang talaga ang @nerisnotsosecretgarden. Di siya fine dining, para lang talagang tambayan sa backyard. Naka kamay lang kapag kumakain, walang arte arte. Tawanan. Tamang food trip. Tamang kantahan. Tamang tambayan. Wala talaga akong kaalam alam sa pagpapatakbo ng isang kainan. Kagaya din naman ng mga naging negosyo ko, wala akong alam sa una kung paano magpatakbo ng isang negosyo. Napag aaralan ko. Pinag aaralan ko. At willing pang mag aral. Hindi ko mapi-please ang mga tao, meron at merong masasabi ang iba sa akin. Pero hindi eto ang basehan para mapanghinaan ng loob, umayaw, o madepress. Alam kong marami pa akong kailangang matutunan dahil hindi ko inaral kung paano magpatakbo ng totoong cafe o restaurant. Puro bagets din ang mga na-hire ko nun at dahil kailangan nila ng pandagdag tuition. Naging maluwag din ako sa mga staff ko nun na naging kampante sila. Iba na ngayon. Dahan dahang naaayos na ang sistema. Inilagay ko ang mga nanay na galing sa Neri's Gourmet Tuyo production. Iba ang disiplina nila. Iba ang work ethics nila. Kaya soooobrang tuwang tuwa ako sa mga customers namin na bumabalik at sinasabing ang laki ng improvement ng cafe. Marami rin silang insights na sina-suggest. Nakikinig lang ako. Mababait yung mga customers na nakakasalamuha ko sa @nerisnotsosecretgarden. May ilan ilan ding nakakagulat ang ugali. Di ko pa naman nakakasalamuha pero minsan maaabutan kong umiiyak ang ilang staff ko kase pinagsabihang ang tatanga nyo. Sinasabi ko na lang, isipin nyo na lang na balang araw kakain sila sa sarili nyong restaurant. Customers are always right, ika nga nila. Hanggat may gusto pa ring tumambay sa @nerisnotsosecretgarden at hanggat may mga pamilya, barkada, magkasintahan na gustong tumambay sa tambayan na ginawa ko. Tuloy ang ligaya! Happy happy lang. There's always room for improvement. Ang failures, mistakes, mga hindi inaasahang bagay o tao man o pangyayare, ay parte ng success ng isang tao. Kaya sa lahat ng napanghihinaan ng loob at mag gigive up na… wag! Parte yan ng success story mo. Kapit ka lang. Matututo ka pa at mas lalong tatatag. Mas lalo kang magiging successful. Good luck at isang mahigpit na yakap sa lahat!
She reiterated that she had no experience in running an eatery and that she was still learning how to do it. She explained that she had hired young staff members. “Naging maluwag din ako sa mga staff ko nun na naging kampante sila (I became lax with my staff before and they became complacent).”
Naig said things were different now and that she hired moms who helped her with Neri’s Gourmet Tuyo to work in the restaurant and who, she said, had more discipline and a better work ethic.
“There’s always room for improvement. Ang failures, mistakes, mga hindi inaasahang bagay o tao man o pangyayare, ay parte ng success ng isang tao (the unexpected things or people or events are part of the success of a person),” she noted.
The same customer, Astrid, continued ranting in Naig’s new Instagram post, complaining that the food was too pricey and needed improvement. It was mentioned again that Naig’s response was “unprofessional.”
Naig said the customer did not need to return if they were not happy with the food. She added, “Chill lang po. Kasing chill ng Neri’s milk tea. Sagot ko na po, hehe!” (Just chill. As chill as Neri’s milk tea. My treat!)
She also advised the customer to use a real Instagram account and not to be hot-headed anymore. The back-and-forth soon came to an end, with the customer denying the offer for free milk tea, even if it would be delivered to Bulacan.
Naig replied, “Good night po [kiss emoji]!”
While it is said the customer is always right, it is also impossible to please them all. Naig’s other ventures include bakeshops, a thrift store and a cottage in Tagaytay for rent. /ra
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