Is it okay to leave bad reviews?

Three tips to guide your decision

Adulting in your 30s

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I love food.

I love trying new restaurants, from hole in the walls to mom and pop shops to that trendy new place where the portions are tiny but the flavors are inventive.

Some of the food warms my heart. Some are interesting though not exciting. Some are quite mediocre. A few are downright terrible.

But, just because I have an opinion, does it mean I should share it with the world?

The size of the business

Writing a bad review is nothing to you, but it can be life or death for a small business.

The reality is, few of us can resist the temptation to check restaurant reviews before entering the establishment. Many of us would not even consider trying a restaurant with less than 4 stars on google maps.

The thing is, although I haven’t run a restaurant myself, having closely followed the industry, I know its fucking hard.

Their only job is not just cooking delicious food, but it’s the whole experience, and it’s always a huge up front investment.

When the restaurant is backed by a well known restaurant group or franchise, maybe the bad review won’t hurt them as much.

But when it’s a small business, think twice about your need to speak your mind. Your words could have an impact on them for months and years to come.

Stick to the facts

Okay, so you had a bad experience, and you really would like to warn others about it.

Before you hit submit, ask yourself, would you feel comfortable giving the restaurant this feedback to their face?

Is your review factually accurate and as objective as possible? “The worse meal ever!” is very subjective. “The steak was overcooked” is a fact.

“The server was rude” is also subjective. “The server saw us wave at them and ignored us” is a fact.

Let other people make their own interpretations of what happened based on the facts. Maybe someone who doesn’t eat meat is considering coming to the restaurant, therefore perhaps the overcooked steak is not as much a concern for them.

Tell the full story

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Adulting in your 30s

Musings and self reflections of a 30 something who feels like an adult but a kid at the same time