Hungry Girl’s Guide: Toyama Sushi

After a strange long day and again forgetting to eat lunch, I was starving! I wanted ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT but I wasn’t going to wander too far from my office – The Network Hub. This was going to be a profile of a restaurant but it turned into a small business online monitoring case study.

My friend suggested we head to Toyama, an all-you-can-eat Japanese restaurant on Seymour and Robson. He has never been there and I have never been there, we both passed the restaurant many times but have never stopped in. First thing he did was pull up dinehere.ca to check the review and it was mediocre! One reviewer said you are better off eating in a food court. Yikes, we were not about to eat there but I wanted to double-check with urbanspoon.com and Toyama rated much better on the site but more importantly for me, there were a lot more reviews of Toyama on urbanspoon.com versus dinehere.ca.

With a bit more confidence in the restaurant, we proceeded to Toyama. The food was fantastic, the service was superb and we were elated that we made the decision to come here for dinner. The selection was wonderful and all the food was fresh. I especially love the geoduck nigiri rolls and the beef tataki. The grill salmon belly was a nice surprise as well.

Toyama Sushi Restaurant - Downtown Vancouver

Toyama Sushi Restaurant – Downtown Vancouver

I remember telling my friend, I hope the restaurant is aware of the mediocre reviews on dinehere.ca so they can encourage their satisfied customers to review them on dinehere.ca or urbanspoon.ca. It is a shame that if we just looked at the first site and made the decision not to go, we would have missed out on a great dinner at a fantastic value.

Toyama Sushi Restaurant - Big long bill!

Our very long bill! Yes we ate THAT MUCH FOOD

The restaurant owner might find it worth their while to monitor some of these sites for positive/negative review either through Google Alerts or just one day a week of going through the reviews. I understand sometimes it is heart-breaking to deal with such harsh negative feedback, it is worthwhile to try to counter it because for every 1 person that had a bad experience there are probably 9 people that had a fantastic experience but didn’t think to say anything about it. For people like me and my friend, when we have not had experience with a particular restaurant we tend to look to the online world to help us decide. Feedback/reviews are some of the ways in which a small business owner can figure out how their business is doing. While it is important to know what you are doing right, it is more important to know what you are doing wrong. I hope Toyama will ask diners to review their restaurant on dinehere.ca, urbanspoon.com and yelp.ca. I think they will be surprised that all it takes is for them to ask, “We would love your feedback on how we are doing, and we hope you will review us on the following site A-Z.”

But for now, they will get two glowing reviews from two very full and satisfied customers.

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