Eat Random

The idea for this blog is to blog about everything I think about food and food culture. I'll tell you what I like to eat, where I like to eat it and if I thought it was good or if I thought it was crap. My thoughts about food could go anywhere. Hey if you don't like it go blog at

Random Dude Eats Random Food Indianapolis restaurants

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Effect of Restaurant Reviews

Everyone's a critic.  That used to be the saying used to dismiss average joes that had problems with the food at a restaurant or some other entertainment venue.  In today's world I think you can say unequivocally that its literal meaning has all but obliterated its intended one.  With the existence of free blogs and sites like urbanspoon and Yelp everyone is literally a critic.  I think this is a good thing.  Maybe you see that as a biased opinion from a food blogger/independent reviewer, but for those of us who like good food and service at a reasonable price we should embrace this culture.  Restaurants have to realize that a bad rating on Yelp or from a local blogger could have an impact on their business.  Gone are the days when you could recognize the critic from the local paper or magazine and give them great service.Instead the focus should now be on treating every customer that way.  I'm aware that doesn't realistically happen, but even if it has improved service or food in even a few restaurants it was worth it to have happier customers and better restaurants that stay in business longer.

 Unfortunately, despite the new technology the same question remains.  Do I spend my hard earned money on a place that has gotten lukewarm reviews on the basis that I should test the waters for myself, or is it okay to try a place that is more reliable instead?  I myself still struggle with that answer, and sometimes I'm afraid it might endanger my sense of adventure as a food writer.  But that is something I'll talk a little bit more about in an upcoming review. 


citynomnoms said...

I too hesitate with the "should it anyway?" waters. Absolutely agree with your post & looking forward to hearing more!

wibia said...

I used to think about this a lot. I have no interest in negatively affecting a restaurant based on my review and consistently encourage my readers to formulate their own opinion. My site is w I bia, not should you buy it… Experiences are always going to be unique.

Now, I am not naïve to the fact that it might affect their business. But how is this different than word of mouth in any other business? Maybe the volume of people…. Plus, did any restaurateur go into this unknowing of the blogging/yelp/urbanspoon community? It is like being a star and not wanting paparazzi.

However, I put myself in their shoes and I probably would hate bloggers. Commonly people that have never worked in a restaurant and don’t know how to cook past a recipe. Plus, when you have a second mortgage on your house to pay for the new cooler and are working 60 hours a week and sacrificing time with your family, it has to be defeating to read a bad review.

However, I am in a commission based job, so if I lose clients based on bad service, I make less money? How is this any different?

I just maintain the fact that we are an entertainment blog about food in Indy…we barely take ourselves seriously, why should anyone else?

Brent said...

I think feedback is good for everyone involved in the long run. It's a moot point anyway because it isn't going away. Whether you are a diner or a chef/restauranteur just embrace it.