Surely you have heard of Yelp. It’s the site where people can post reviews about their experiences at local businesses and restaurants. The idea is a great one, we LOVE reviews. Reviews are extremely helpful when searching for the right place to go for dinner or which hotel to stay, even which insurance agency to choose!
But the site is far from perfect.
The first review I saw came from a Christopher L.. He had some nice things to say;
The bar area is very nice. The music isn’t very loud, so as not to disturb the front. I really appreciated this, as I’m not a big fan of blaring music.
I agree Christopher, not a big fan of loud music either. Christopher also mentions that he found the food to be delicious. This is the good side of Yelp. Positive reviews are extremely helpful.
Christopher does mention a few negative things about his experience;
I was here for dinner during the week. I was a little thrown off when I entered because the front room is very classy, with a clean classy look complete with cloth tablecloths and candles on the tables. If you walk thru that room you get to the back portion, which is where the bar is. This is where I chose to enjoy my evening.
That’s not negative, right? He goes on to say;
Only cons here: Not a ton of beers on draft and you have to walk through the fancy front room to get to the bar area, at least from the street entrance.
There are three entrances to the restaurant, two from the street and one from the back parking lot. There is an entrance from the street that goes right into the bar.
Also, not a ton of draft beers? Sure, we are not a massive Ale House but we do have 15 taps, twelve of which are revolving with some of the best craft beers you can find. And the bottle list is extensive.
Christopher’s review wasn’t entirely negative, just incorrect and not complete. He mentioned the beer selection was decent, why not list a few items from the draft list so the reader could decide for himself. If you were looking for a good craft beer you would most likely not try this bar out based on this review.
The purpose of Yelp should be to help the reader decide if this business is right for them, not serve as a soundboard to express your opinions.
Negative reviews and remarks are worthless. They can destroy businesses and should not be posted for the world to see. If you have an issue with an establishment you should always talk it over with the manager or owner first. Give them a chance to discuss it with you.
Often times, negative reviews are due to a misunderstanding or not enough information. Sometimes the owner of a business is not aware of an issue. Why would you post something about poor service for the world to see and not mention it to the owner or manager? I have worked at many restaurants and have not found one single owner or manager that wants poor service from an employee.
Review sites like Yelp are not going anywhere. So here are some things to consider.
If you are a business owner or manager;
Explain to your staff that every person that walks into your establishment is a member of the media with access to the world wide web. Every single individual that walks through the door should be treated as a VIP.
If you are an employee;
Act like you own the place. That has always been my philosophy at the French Quarter Bistro. Because of this mindset I have been asked several times if I am the owner. You are a representative of the business. Take responsibility, show that you care and do whatever it takes to move the business in a positive direction.
If you have a Yelp account;
Choose your words wisely. Make sure you have all the information available to you before posting negative remarks. If you see something that upsets you, tell the owner or manager before posting it for the world to see. Rather than searching for negative things to write about, try helping the local business out. Let them know when something is wrong so they can fix it.
What are your thoughts? Do we owe it to local businesses to discuss their problems with them? Or are we free to post anything we want without regard for the business we are writing about?