I see people everyday going to Facebook to blast out a negative review of a Restaurant. Some will even go to extremes and use Yelp.
Once they do this…
What are the perils of giving a bad review?
Some people obviously see a negative review of a restaurant as being helpful to others who have not dined there. Yet, others see a negative reviews as an opportunity to launch a rant. Then there are a few who feel a negative review of a restaurant will serve as a reminder to the restaurant to improve their quality.
All of these are within a person’s right here and in theory all well and good. However, there are limits to how far even a citizen of the USA can go with negative review, especially those based on emotion and not fact.
Know the Law
A few years ago, How Giving a Bad Review Can Bring You Legal Trouble. He gave some great advice,
“Limit your criticisms of the subject of your review to one of two things:
- Facts: Facts are protected speech and can never be defamatory. Tell the details of your experience and focus on the things that are provably true. This includes both the facts about your your experience with the subject and the subject itself. However, this means also being fair and presenting all of the relevant facts, including those that might work against your opinion.
- Opinion: Stick to your opinion on the subject. Your personal feelings and opinions are protected as well, so long as they aren’t presented as being factual.
Under no circumstances should you make guesses about the subject that you can’t prove, especially if those guesses put it in a negative light. Even jokes or satire can go awry if your subject feels that others might take it seriously.”
Giving a bad review of a restaurant can put the reviewer in some bad trouble and many restaurants take every review of their establishment very seriously…and rightfully so.
In recent years the Defamation Laws have been refreshed and defamation is a common angle of attack used by those unhappy restaurants with a negative review. Threat of a defamation lawsuit can shut down sites that criticize.
Having given a few negative reviews over the years, I remind myself of the two points outlined above…plus, my attorney is usually with me when I review a restaurant so I’m given reminders of each point as I am eating.
There are a few more things I also consider before I make a Bad Review that maybe will help you whenever you get the urge to crank up a negative review.
- First, whenever I go to a restaurant I plan on writing a review I NEVER go alone. I always have a witness.
- No matter if the experience was Good or Bad, I will always mention the Good and Bad to the server. Since I seldom am paid to review a restaurant I am not compelled to tell the server I am writing a review, but in some cases I will mention it.
- If I had a problem with whatever I found not Good I will make extra effort to tell the servers the details on why I feel it was not good.. This will generally send an alarm to the manager who will, or should, stop by to hear more about the problem.
- If my efforts to provide feedback to the management of the restaurant are ignored I will make a second and final attempt to express my dissatisfaction with the Host or Hostess as I leave.
- If the second attempt does not open a conversation with the management…well…all of this goes into my Negative Review.
- Lastly. There are sometimes when the experience was so questionably bad I deem it not worth the effort to tell anyone and just leave. Those negative reviews I will not post and only make in private with those who ask me if I have ever dined at the restaurant in question. It is those private Negative Reviews I find have the greatest impact and are the ones that hurt the restaurant even more than a rant on the internet.
My advice to those looking for advice on writing negative reviews on anything is to pay attention to the points made here. You may find that not making a review, outside of saying you were there and maybe stating you are not going back, is the best negative review you can make.
Let me know how I can help.