In the restaurant industry—like most any industry—one of the best ways to grow and improve is to make mistakes and learn from criticism. NYC restaurateur Frank Prisinzano knows this, which is probably why he has multiple successful restaurants, including Lil’ Frankie’s, Frank, Sauce, and Supper.
This week, Prisinzano took to Instagram to post an honest criticism of one of his restaurants, Supper, which opened in April 2002.
Read the full review here. In it, the restaurateur points out relatively minor issues, like the way the burger was formed and the thickness of polenta. He also comments that service was “spot on.”
We spoke to Prisinzano about the value he sees in critiquing his own restaurants and being transparent with customers.
As an owner, why do you think it’s important to not only review your own restaurants, but post those reviews publicly?
For one, it encourages my own people to pay attention to what I am doing on Instagram. I am driving the whole bus from there. I use it to take notes, I put practically my whole artistic and management processes on it for all to see and it’s all valuable content. I have nothing to hide and my process can teach others how to be better at what they do. I work and travel and eat all for my businesses and I’m obsessed with food so why not just put all my notes up publicly? It’s added value for all and if anyone thinks there is any kitchen on this earth that doesn’t make mistakes they are being very delusional. Mistakes are what drive us towards perfection.
How do you stay objective when doing this?
I am unafraid, that’s how. I’m in business 17 years now in the same community. Our clients are our friends and the people that are following me enjoy my candor probably above all else and want to hear what I really think. I’m constantly trying to improve my own machines. No one is going to stop going to my places because they see me honestly reviewing and correcting them—on the contrary, they will trust them more. I live on the truth, it feeds me everyday and it welcomes every customer with open arms.
Have you had any negative commentary from the BOH/FOH staff after this IG post went up?
My people have been with me for many many years, most over 10 years. They are like my sons and daughters, and they don’t hear from me enough; they all want me around more but I’m spread a bit thin. I’m sure they look at this the same way they do when I do it in person—me trying to make us and them better cooks, chefs, waiters, managers etc… I do not rule with fear, I rule with love and constructive criticism. It’s not a public humiliation, it’s us doing what we always do for all to see. We have all open kitchens so this is really not anything that new.
Do you plan to continue putting honest criticisms of your restaurants on Instagram?
Yes, but I may eventually switch to other platforms if IG should change or lose my interest.