Recently I’ve noticed a lot of comments on social media about the effects that food bloggers posts and their comments are having on cafes and restaurants. Instagram has become a space filled with reviews, it’s true.
The amount of new ‘Food Review’ accounts popping up is growing rapidly in the past year and a half. When I first started there were a few but no where near as many as there are now, although the quality varies vastly from account to account.
It does, sometimes, feel like Instagram is turning into trip advisor. I certainly do not have time for that. My advice to the reader/consumer, is remember to be critical and analyse everything you read. If somebody writes a negative review about somewhere, take it with a pinch of salt. Think about their situation. Are they being picky? Are they generally just a negative nancy? Don’t just take words you read on Instagram as gospel.
That being said, the same applies for positive reviews too. Don’t read a positive review of a place and automatically assume you are going to love it too. Everyone has different tastes. Perception varies from person to person.
Now for my advice to businesses new and old. Don’t blame social media if you’re failing. At the end of the day, if a restaurant is truly doing well, social media cannot destroy that. I know it can often seem like one negative review can have a huge impact, but does it really?
I have worked for a restaurant that received quite a few harsh reviews on tripadvisor. It was and continues to be a successful business despite these reviews. Quite often the negative reviews received were from the trolls of tripadvisor, you know? The people who only ever log on to say something negative. That’s not to say that none of the criticisms were ever taken on board. The point I’m trying to make is that as long as businesses are willing to rectify things that are going wrong, negative reviews do not need to be the end.
Of course, the story is a little bit different for new businesses trying to find their feet. The impact of a negative review can be much more hard hitting. However, we can’t just tip toe around new businesses if they are getting something wrong. Surely it still needs to be said? Which is where it comes back to the reader/consumer. Be mindful of what you are reading. Negative reviews/opinions don’t mean it’s not worth giving it a try. Fair enough, don’t waste your money by visiting the day after you have read a negative review. Give these businesses a chance to change their ways, to figure things out and to tighten up.
The reason for this post? Does there need to be a reason? Well, there was a trigger to all of these thoughts in my head. If you follow me on Instagram (@thefoodlife_GLA) you might be aware of the little little Sunday brunch club my boyfriend and I do every week. Ok ok it’s not actually a club, it’s just the two of us and we go out for brunch. The main reason for this is to try new places. However, as a result of this we have become wise to which places are not actually worth the hype and attention they get on Instagram. Although, reading my posts up until now the fact that I didn’t LOVE every single brunch may be a surprise. My stance on Instagram is that if I love something I will try and make that very clear. If I don’t love it and it’s merely OK, I might still post about it. But I certainly won’t rave about it.
I do try and be mindful of the fact that at the end of the day, these businesses are run by human beings. They need to make money. I’m not here to ruin their reputation. I’m here because I like to write about food.
To summarise, just remember it’s easy to post anything on the internet. Take things with a pinch of salt. Don’t just believe everything you see or read on Instagram, or any social media channel for that matter.
I would love to hear thoughts and opinions on this topic so please let me know what you think in the comments below.
Thanks for reading,