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“Fun but too expensive” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Taste of Williamsburg Food Tour

Taste of Williamsburg Food Tour
424 W Duke of Gloucester St., Williamsburg, VA 23185
+1 757-634-3602
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Owner description: We provide fun and delicious food and drink tours to several of the best local places in town. Wether you're looking for something fun to do and a way to meet up with other travelers for fun drinks or just want to try different foods, we're the tour for you! Drink tours include both food and drinks: Absinthe, Virginia Craft Beer Flight (3 beers), Beer, Tequila, Jello Shots, and Wine. Food includes French Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese, Ploughman's Lunch, amazing brick fired pizza, variety of Virginia Peanuts, and a holly sandwich. Food tours include the same as above, without the drinks. This is a must do for the beginning of your trip in Williamsburg. If you love food or enjoy drinking, come check us out! Tours last three hours and start at 2PM and cost from $46 to $74 per person.
Virginia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Fun but too expensive”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

My husband and I went on this tour using a Groupon. It was fun to go to the different places but it is definitely not worth the price. I feel that even with the groupon, I overpayed.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lance Z, Owner at Taste of Williamsburg Food Tour, responded to this review, January 26, 2014
Dear Customer,

Very sorry that you did not feel that it was worth what you paid. We do our best to ensure that each customer feels that they received value from the tour.

To prevent situations like this, we both list everything that you will receive and show photos of them both in advance and during the booking process. This was also shown to those who purchased the Groupon.

However, am happy to hear that you enjoyed the food and had fun.

Food tours in other cities are more expensive, and based on some of the other reviews here, offer less food for it. Food tours are not for every budget and they are not for everyone- they are a premium product for foodies.

As for the price, we didn't make any money on the Groupon and have to stay in business, pay overhead and insurance, keep our employees employed and compensated for their time, and pay our restaurant partners. This is the only explanation I can give for the price, and I hope it helps answer the concern you have over the price.

Thank you for your review.
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80 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Williamsburg, Virginia, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“What a Great time!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

My wife and I had a fun time walking around with 4 other couples on a sunny January day with our very nice tour guide. He took us to several stores and taught us a lot about the area and the food. We had a ball and would highly recommend this tour to others. Try to go in the winter or spring when Williamsburg is slow with visitors. John our guide was fun and very outgoing.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorktown, Virginia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Enjoyable Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

My husband and I really enjoyed the tour. Our tour guide, John, was wonderful. He was personable, entertaining and knowledgeable. We enjoyed the other couples on the tour and the food was excellent.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Please don't buy this Groupon”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

We bought this through Groupon and I was disappointed. In our opinion, calling this a "food tour" is being generous. It started with booking and a mysterious $5 per person "tax". Hmm. It seemed fishy to me, but I didn't want my Groupon to go to waste, so I booked anyway. We started at a candy store. Each of us was given a small bag with 3-4 pieces of candy. The candy ended up being all prepackaged that I could have gotten at the grocery store (my husband's had a pack of Juicy Fruit...) From there, we went to a peanut shoppe, with the only samples being open to everyone in the shop, not only those on an overpriced food tour. Next was a tea and spice shop - no food to taste here. Retro's for fried pickles next. We're not fans of fried pickles, so passed ours on to another couple on the tour (the tour was advertised to have frozen yogurt at this stop.) We then went to the Blue Talon and were told they couldn't accommodate us for at least an hour. Our tour guide then took us on the tour of the William and Mary campus. Our tour guide was nice, but didn't seem that confident with what they were presenting us. You could tell they were more into the tour of the campus than the rest. It took me back to being in college and bragging about my school. We left campus and headed to College Delly and hot holly sandwiches. Okay, but nothing to write home about. Lastly was Blue Talon with the gourmet macaroni and cheese. This was more of what we were expecting and what we enjoyed the most. The macaroni and cheese was delicious, but definitely not worth the rest of the tour. I feel like the tour is disorganized and misleading. Taking your tour to stores that sell food doesn't constitute a food tour. The establishments should be expecting the tours when they arrive and they should arrive at a pre-scheduled time. The weather was nice though and we enjoyed walking around outside. But this wasn't worth the cost of the Groupon and definitely not worth the full price. Also, I really think this is one of those companies born of Groupon and Living Social and wouldn't exist without them. Save your money and go to each place individually.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lance Z, Owner at Taste of Williamsburg Food Tour, responded to this review, January 26, 2014
Dear Customer,

Sorry to say, but tax is not mysterious, we all have to pay it. It may seem fishy at times, but if you do not want us to pay taxes, you may take it up with your representatives. I'll wish you luck.

In this case, tax is based on the retail value of the tour. The Groupon does not include tax, and this is listed in their terms to you. If you did not want to pay a ten percent tax, you could have received a full refund from Groupon.

Very sorry that the one restaurant was not able to accommodate the group at the intended time. We don't like that that happened, and it doesn't work like that 99% of the time, but sometimes someone new is there, or something else happens.

We've since fixed that problem from happening again. It's embarrassing for them and for us, even though it meant we just had to come back at the end. I'm glad to know that the group returned after the rest and enjoyed it.

We do not offer frozen yogurt in the winter or when it is cold. Instead we replace it with something more appropriate.

We both state and show exactly what you will receive on the tour that you purchase, even if it is through Groupon. You should know that food tours throughout the country are often priced in excess of $50 to $75 per person.

As far as urging people not to buy the Groupon, we are in agreement. Some of the Groupon buyers are just not our target market. We attracted bargain hunters who are mystified by taxes, instead of foodies.

I don't know what types of businesses to which you refer, but Taste of Williamsburg was not born out of Groupon, which had some customers as the only to protest taxes, tipping, and value, which we completely expected after researching the psychology of the group deal hunter and based off of the experiences that other food tours had when issuing Groupons.

Out of about 400 Groupon customers, a three percent complaint rate isn't bad, but i'm just sorry that you are in that three percent who were unhappy.

If you had addressed these concerns with us directly, we would have been happy to address them and refund your money or let you go on another tour.
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Richmond, Virginia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“The owner is a cheat”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Purchased this thru Groupon. When I booked it online I was charged tax on the full retail value and not the half price value. How is it he can charge tax on a service and other service providers can't. Just on products. I scheduled for a Friday but on the Wednesday just before I needed to reschedule for the Sunday do to work conflicts. Tried to contact 3 times with email and calls. When my call was returned I was told it would be a $20 rescheduling fee for each of us. When I questioned why so much just to say 'yes come on Sunday instead' Lance became very defensive and said he didn't have to do anything for me. He then told me to contact Groupon and get my money back (which they did within an hour). He then informed me that he wouldn't return my taxes I had paid and hung up. Turns out that the food samples are available from the restaurants and not done special for this 'tour' and that the campus tour is available for free too!

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lance Z, Owner at Taste of Williamsburg Food Tour, responded to this review, January 21, 2013
While subjective, calling me a "cheat" is a personal attack and has no grounds to be listed here. Moreover, this person did not take the tour. We have had more than 600 customers take one of our tours, and this person was the most rude.

We work with our guests to accomodate and reschedule even if they cancel within 48 hours of their tour date, even though our terms clearly state these guidelines and our cancellation or reschedule policy. But we are not always able to do this. I offered to reschedule him to Sunday, when we had an opening, even though he was under the 48 hours from his Friday tour. We have gladly made special accommodations to others in the last minute in the past and did last night.

However, the reason why I refused to accomodate this man is because of his conduct. He was very rude, proceeded to tell me what he does for a living and how I should run the business. He interrupted me, interrogated me, and the correct word would not be appropriate or professional for me to use. I'm not going to ignore our cancellation policy to accomodate a person like this.

I expect adults to treat others with respect and if they cannot I do not want their business. I will not go out of our way to accomodate someone outside of the cancellation terms agreed upon if they are as crude as this man. Treating others with respect and being polite goes a long way. I felt very sorry for his wife, who left a polite message in the late evening before.

I won't make our other customers and tour guide suffer such a person for 3 hours, nor will the restaurant staff.

Yes, you pay taxes. We all do. Complaining here about taxes and fees is directed at the wrong person. If $5 is too much, or if you cannot tip, you should not be taking the tour in the first place. And yes, sir, you are subject to a reschedule fee. That is common.
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