I've written quite a few restaurant reviews on this blog, some favorable, some not. I'm sure that whenever a new restaurant opens, the owners must wait nervously on tenterhooks for the first reviews by both recognised critics and public alike. They can make or break a business in those first crucial weeks after opening, and in these difficult financial times it's positive feedback that can boost a new restaurant and bring customers through the floor. At Lantana, we've been keeping a keen eye out for our first reviews and we're chuffed with the sheer amount of positive feedback we've received so far. We've witnessed the marketing power of blogging, not only from Shelagh's own blog, but from coverage on some extremely well respected food blogs such as The London Review of Breakfasts, and that of breakfast aficionado Russell Davies. Mowielicious describes Lantana as "The Best Australian Cafe in London", complete with pictures of my lovingly iced Hummingbird Cakes. Nice one Mowie!
The web now plays host to loads of customer feedback sites. Tipped, and Qype are two of them that feature some customer reviews about Lantana and again for the most part the customer experiences are favorable. Reading them gives us a great idea of what people want and allows us to iron out any teething problems that any business experiences during its first few months.
Then there are the reviews from established publications. We've been featured in Time Out as one of the top 5 cafes in London for cheap eats,
"The super salads (smoky aubergine or a crunchy sugar snap and red cabbage combo, for example) are Ottolenghi-esque, the cakes and sunny breakfast offerings already drawing in a band of regulars."
and in the Evening Standard the mighty Fay Maschler wrote of Lantana,
"Breakfast has a list of dishes to inspire your day and lunch offers fine, healthy, inventive salads and irresistible home baking."
Well, as much of my day is spent baking, I'm pretty happy with that feedback!