Yelp is a powerful tool, and restaurateurs are starting to catch on in order to stay ahead of the game. In a world of Choice Choke, where the number of choices can overwhelm you, Yelp is helping people sort out the good and the not-so-good in food and restaurant service. It’s an online community where registered members, called “yelpers,” can place their own reviews of the good, the bad and the ugly.
The site is somewhat controversial, in that strongly-worded critiques can get passed along without the restaurant getting a word in edgewise. As a result, restaurateurs are developing their own ways to talk back – everything from sneak previews of new menu items to yelpers, to personal responses posted on the forum, to money-back guarantees.
It’s not purely critique – for an annual fee, the restaurants can become sponsors and choose their ad and review placement. It is, however, pure to the digital age – where the public will speak out and business improves as a result.
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