Last week I wrote about the hidden upside of negative reviews and promised to deliver a list of online review sites you should be keeping an eye on. With no further ado …
- Chowhound operates three different message boards for Canadians who love food: Ontario (including Toronto), Quebec (including Montreal) and Canada (everywhere else). There are also boards that cover major American cities, as well as other countries (it could be a great resource if you’re looking for dining tips while travelling).
- Speaking of taking a trip, even if you’re not going any further than your mailbox today, TripAdvisor can tell you what others have to say about whether or not your restaurant should be a destination of choice.
- In addition to written reviews, Restaurantica gives customers a chance to rate their experiences on “food,” “service,” and “other.” While not as active as Chowhound, these boards do have a restaurant-only focus, compared to Chowhound’s more comprehensive focus on food.
These are just three of the more active online communities; there are many more worth checking out as well. Don’t forget to look for similar online networks in your own city/town/hamlet.
And remember …
If you come across a negative review of your own establishment:
1. Don’t fire off an angry rebuttal!
2. Remember the five ways negative review help your online reputation.
3. Give some careful thought as to how you can turn an online critique into a real-life opportunity.
If you come across a negative review of a competitor’s establishment:
1. Don’t gloat (it’s tacky and will stunt your growth).
2. Think about how you or your staff might have handled the situation differently.
3. Learn from their experience.