Letter to the Editor: A response to Clevenger’s “Gut Reaction”


The Whit accepts ’Letter to the Editor’ submissions from members of the community and university. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and not The Whit or its staff. 

Dear Editor,

As someone who has worked in the restaurant industry for seven years, I found Clevenger’s article about Ricci’s Hoagies distasteful. Clevenger gave Ricci’s Hoagies a 2.5 out of 5.0 rating on the grounds of workers not being cheerful enough for her liking and for finding a hair in her sandwich. Here, I am not going to discount or rationalize a reason for the employees’ behavior in this instance. Customer service, from this article, appears to be an area that can be improved upon at Ricci’s. Instead, I would like to focus on how Clevenger failed to handle the issue of finding a hair in her sandwich and the prevalent bias within the story.

Finding a hair in your food at a restaurant is gross. It is unappetizing, unsanitary and completely dampens the mood of the dining experience. However, it happens. When this type of situation occurs, it is up to the restaurant’s management and staff to resolve the issue respectfully and effectively. With that said, the restaurant is only able to find a resolution to the problem if they are made aware of it. The way a restaurant, or any establishment, handles customer complaints is pivotal to their success. Restaurants typically handle a hair incident like this by offering the patron a replacement dish. Some patrons may want a different meal, the same meal re-made or no meal at all. Further, providing a free meal to a disgusted patron is an inexpensive method to build a good reputation. It is up to the manager to acquiesce full responsibility to right the situation. The author failed to provide Ricci’s Hoagies an opportunity to fix her complaint.

Clevenger’s article contains multiple discrepancies. For instance, the author cites there were “six or seven” employees at Ricci’s when she was there. As a reader of The Whit, I expect its journalists to be concrete and definitive in their reporting. Secondly, the author made no attempt to interact with an employee directly, or any other person aside her friends for that matter. Clevenger provides no background on Ricci’s Hoagies. She also noted she was discouraged by the lack of customers present when she went. Being in a college town, take-out is often more popular than dine-in experiences. Furthermore, Clevenger reported she and her friends arrived at Ricci’s at 3:15 p.m. This is an unconventional dining time.

Ricci’s Hoagies just recently opened their second location on Rowan Boulevard. On the front page of the paper, the headline for the article read, “Gut Reaction: Ricci’s Hoagies serves more than just sandwiches.” This makes The Whit as a whole appear malicious and unsupporting to local businesses. I expect the writers and editors of The Whit to do better.

Sincerely, Lauren Burch

For questions/comments about this letter, email editor@thewhitonline.com or tweet @TheWhitOnline.

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