The Crazy World of Reviews, Food Bloggers and Zomato Ratings
Everybody has an opinion these days (us included) about the kind of food we eat and the kind of places we should frequent and what is good and what is bad. Very often, these reviews aren’t nice and they are rude and bitchy and downright ridiculous. A lot of the time, the management of the food establishment will respond and apologise for the terrible experience and ask how they can make it better for them the next time. And the response they get next usually ends up being one that makes you wish you’d never said anything at all. And then there are instances when the management will snap back at the reviewer and give them hell for saying something so absolutely awful and try to make them apologise.
The crazy thing is that neither of these methods are good for anybody. A bad review looks bad for the restaurant, while a bad response from the management looks even worse. Because what kind of place can’t take a little criticism, right?
About The Reviews
Reviews are not a new thing. People have been reviewing everything from fashion to food to homes to people in general. Food reviews are the biggest thing right now, though, because everyone believes that they are a great reviewer when it comes to food. Truth is, they are not. Not everyone can write a proper review, not everyone has the right things to say. Just because you say that you didn’t like something or wish it was something else does not make you a good reviewer. While there are different ways a review can be explained, being knowledgeable and having something of substance about the place and the food is what makes a difference. You can’t just criticise them for the lack of light and give them no stars. Sure, not having enough light or the room not being bright enough is an issue, but that cannot be the basis of your review. You’re there for the food, focus on the food. Focus on the service and the quality of everything presented to you while you’re there.
Reviews are also the bane of every restaurant and restaurateurs existence. Reviews can make or break a place. It’s just the truth of the matter and there’s no point saying otherwise.
About The Food Bloggers
We’ve talked about food bloggers before and how a lot of them beg for free food with promises of great five star reviews. It’s becoming impossible to be taken seriously as a food writer or critic because restaurants think that everyone is going to try and screw them over with a bad review. Food bloggers are not evil, but they think themselves higher than everyone else which means that they get special treatment at restaurants and hotels because they promise them things that other food writers can’t or won’t.
Remember that food blogger that got into trouble with Zomato for promising five star reviews for free food and then got caught and banned from the website? Then there also those food bloggers that show up in a huge gang and demand free food because they’ll write a really good review with pictures and everything. The problem with these promises is that even if you don’t like the food, you’ve already said that you will do it and if you don’t, you get stuck in a sticky situation with the restaurant as both of you try to explain what happened and why things didn’t go as planned and it goes on and on.
There are some food bloggers who take this seriously, of course, then there are those that just don’t. It’s a battle you have to constantly fight.
About The Zomato Ratings
Here’s the only problem with Zomato that I have – restaurants consider their Zomato rating the be all and end all of their existence. Everyone wants a 5 star rating, because that means more people will be interested and more people will show up. But it’s close to impossible for everyone to have five star ratings all the time. Everyone has to start somewhere, but everybody wants to start at the top and stay there forever. While a restaurant might be good, their Zomato rating should not be what defines them. A lot of people will only visit restaurants that have a 3.5 rating or higher, but the secret is that a lot of these lower rated restaurants are also quite good, people just assume that that accumulative rating doesn’t include a positive review or two. Or three. The top two reasons are why everyone puts so much weight on their ratings, but the truth is that you can run a successful restaurant without having a million positive reviews.
As the kids say these days, everyone need to take a chill pill.