Review websites help make informed choices

The Herald reports:

Websites offering customers the chance to review their dining experience were “parasites” on the food industry, says an angry Auckland restaurant owner who’s come out swinging at .

“At the end of the day the only way those guys make money is off our hard work,” said Jonny Rudduck, owner of Ponsonby Rd Italian eatery, il buco.

“Without us they are nothing and in my view, they’re parasites …”

That view point says more about the owner, than it does about review sites.

Review sites allow customers to have a voice. That is a good thing. Owners can respond to the comments.

I’ll never not go somewhere just because of one bad review. But I will look for patterns – multiple bad reviews. I also look for if the bad review seems to be a one off or a systematic issue.

I use Trip Advisor constantly to choose hotels and restaurants when travelling. The average ratings get it right around 95% of the time. Without such review sites, it would be almost random luck where you go.

Yes it can be frustrating to have an unfair bad review. But the answer to bad data, is more (good) data. Not to try and ban data. Encourage all your happy patrons to review you also.

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