Dear Sir , Madam.
My name is Gerardo and I am the manager of Santa Maria del Sur. I write this in response to some of the reviews I’ve read recently in several sites (some of them are, in reality, the same review, posted under different names in different sites)
For those of you who wrote those fantastic emails and words of encouragement and compliments; a huge thank you.
Unfortunately, bad reviews sound louder, so I am mainly writing to those whose reviews weren’t what we hoped for, and for those who are thinking of coming to visit us and upon reading these reviews, are thinking “ Oh dear..it doesn’t sound good”.
First of all, I am really truly sorry if your experience at Santa Maria was not what you expected.
I could sit here and write a defense of my restaurant but you’ve got your views and I, of course, respect that. Some of the points made are valid and help us get better, and on others I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.
However, there’s one particular comment which I read and I will 100 % refute and it’s what prompted me to write this. The success some people refer to, has not gone to our heads and we care greatly about our customers and their comments, particularly if they are not good.
We are not a fancy restaurant or a flash, pretentious venue in the West End. We are a local restaurant in Battersea. That’s how we started and that’s the way we like it and how we’ll remain. Success or not success. Therefore, our customers and neighbors are all we have. New and existing ones; and them leaving happy is all we care about.
Since December last year when we appeared on the F Word, we’ve seen a dramatic surge in the amount of customers we cater for. Our business changed and the way we used to do things had to change. It’s possible that somewhere along the way we made mistakes, or that on a given night, things didn’t go according to plan. When that happens, our customers have the right to be upset, but I can assure you, so are we.
But while the way we did business had to change, one thing remains intact: the quality of our products and having our customers’ satisfaction as our main and foremost priority. Of that I give you my word.
So I can’t change the way some of you feel about us and your visit, and I can’t change if something went wrong that day or if things weren’t done as they should be, but what I can do, is assure you that your comments have been noted and there’s always room for improvement, so we listen. But we also believe in Santa Maria and what we are, so I felt I had to say something and show you how much we care.
We are not short-sighted and we don’t think (quote) “there are enough people who will keep coming”. Nothing further from the truth. Instead, we are always working hard to make sure our standards not only don’t drop, but that we raise the bar.
With best regards
Santa Maria del Sur