How restaurant review websites workThey can help a restaurant or to a hotel. Or just the opposite. Are they reliable? This is how they control comments. Choosing between documented and reliable opinions and light ones is not always easy. Who has not become a food critic after going to a restaurant? After a dinner away from home, it is normal to give the everyone's opinion about food or service. But that, in the internet age, can be a big problem.


This is the case of Caroline doudet, a French woman sentenced by a Bordeaux court to pay 1.500 euros to a restaurant about which he published a negative review on his personal blog.
The premises in question, a pizzeria, considered that the article contributed directly to the lack of customers, most of them young, who stopped attending after its publication almost a year ago.
En Spain there are also many pages -like Fork, TripAdvisor u 11870- which serve as a meeting point for thousands of users to give their opinions and recommendations on the last restaurant where they have been.
Communities of lovers of good food that feed a veritable sea of ​​criticism, more or less favorable, than restaurants they can be taken better ... Or worse.

A comprehensive control

Registering on one of these websites is very simple, most only ask for information such as name, surname and username. In addition, they allow connect directly from the social network Facebook, simplifying the entire process.
When sort the comments, each portal follows some guidelines. For example, on Tripadvisor, which has in its catalog with more than two million restaurants in the world, the first two criteria are the temporality and fidelity: The last comment is higher, but the users who comment the most often find their criticism at the top of the ranking.

The same user who always thinks highly of the same restaurant is investigated

Companies follow a very strict control of the comments that are published, so that the same user always giving a positive opinion of the same restaurant ends up being investigated; thus avoiding the online fraud.
Obviously, not all the comments are positive, many criticize the service, the food or even the place they have visited. Nevertheless, defamation or disrespect are not allowed, actions against which the websites act quickly. For example, in the case of, if a comment has some kind of insult, the user is warned that they cannot publish the opinion in this way, inviting you to rewrite it.

Right of reply of the restaurants

But not only diners give their opinion. The restaurants have official profiles through which they can answer criticism, and even apologize if the evening did not go as expected by your client.
The hospitality sector is very aware of the increasing importance of this type of portal. For example, in the Sandó restaurant Madrid, ranked among the top three on, claim that much of the clientele comes encouraged by the good comments on the web pages, although they do not request a favorable criticism after the evening.
Even the big names in the kitchen Spanish like the Roca brothers, from El Celler de Can Roca, Martin Berasategui o Arzak They are found on these pages, since their directors are aware of the importance of dealing with the client as directly as possible.

The best comments

There are users who, when expressing their opinions, let their more creative streak. The award will undoubtedly go to customers. For example, on the French community website, someone left a little love poem for the portal itself It read like this: «Ma Fourchette préférée. After all, you know yourself, you trouve merveilleuse… J'en ai découvert des coins sympas, grâce à toi. T'es super "(" You are my favorite Fork. Ever since I've known you, I think you are wonderful. Thanks to you I have visited a lot of charming corners. You are incredible ").
Spanish users have also recorded their sense of humor and his passion for lyrics: «Green vegetables, delicious food, Navarran garden, live life. It is a great table, simple and with some dishes worthy of greater glory. The pods, superb. The peas, sublime. And the price, adjusted. Always highly recommended. Safe value".
Not to mention who revealed his love towards him cinemaof action to give your opinion, turning a critic into something fun: "The sirloins were James Bond style, cold, hard and with the nerves of steel… ».

The Streisand effect

Many very negative comments can be suspicious. Or many very positive ones. The truth is that it is always difficult to know the accuracy of each opinion and the reason that encouraged it. The response of the restaurants is not easy either. Experts advise sincerity in responses and take criticism as an opportunity to improve. At this point it should be remembered that trying to censor information always gives a bad result. That perverse effect is known as Streisand. In 2003, the singer denounced photographer Kenneth Adelman and a photo page demanding that an aerial photo of her home be removed from an advertisement containing images of the California coast. After the complaint, that photo that had passed without pain or glory, was known to everyone.

Author: Eva bárcena
Published in ABC.ES
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I am a dreamer and in my dreams I believe that a better world is possible, that no one knows more than anyone, we all learn from everyone. I love gastronomy, numbers, teaching and sharing all the little I know, because by sharing I also learn. "Let's all go together from foundation to success"
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