Peter Wright
Who is reviewing you?

The Power of a Review – Instagram, Facebook, Trip Advisor, Gault Millau, Urban Spoon, Age Good Food Guide, Twitter, Bloggers, just to name a few

I love being looked after and it is something I have come to expect when eating out of home. On average I would estimate approximately 50 per cent of my meals are in restaurants or cafes. My favorite dining experience is a simple breakfast on a Saturday morning – I frequent a mixture of local cafés, which usually have been recommended to me.

Now let’s say on my first visit I am welcomed by the modern version of the cafe maître d’. Usually young and funky, dressed in current threads, with visible tattoos and facial piercing. I sit, peruse the menu and immediately order coffee from my hipster waiter.

The menu reads well and looking around at other people’s meals I am reassured that the food looks as good as the menu describes.

I order my meal but my coffee still has not arrived and I mention that fact to hipster waiter, who acknowledges my distress and goes to rectify the small problem that is just about to turn into a big one. Food arrives – excellent, poached eggs perched on grilled bubble and squeak, crisp bacon, asparagus and béarnaise sauce. Hello!! Still no coffee!

I snap a photo on Instagram with my iPhone 6’s crystal-clear digital high resolution camera, look up the café’s details and post the photo, caption it “great food, funky modern cafe, 31 minutes for coffee”, add a sad face icon and share with my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook contacts.

I have just told over 1000 friends, colleagues and acquaintances about my Saturday morning experience. Damage done – immediately and without malice I have just become the latest cafe and restaurant critic.

Turn back the clock a mere 18 months and the likelihood of this instant critique would have been quite rare. Turn the clock forward 12 months and it will be as common as paying the bill.

The pressure to provide not only excellent food but also excellent service is more relevant than ever to the food and beverage industry. As social media encourages and rewards bloggers and users, so the pressure increases and on the other hand is rewarded in exactly the same way.

Social media awareness is paramount and how to combat the social media risk to your business is certainly something to think about.