For the fifth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by Concordia University. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2011."
So here we are, October.
It's not just any October, it's officially OnMilwaukee.com Dining Month in October. I'm no stranger to food, and I'm no stranger to sharing via social networks. So it's only natural that I remind all of you who carry a web-enabled, or smart phone in your back pocket that I've assigned you a task. This task goes beyond the month of October, and you will be graded on it. Who's grading you? Oh you know, just an endless audience that crosses county, state and international lines.
Why is it important to share your dining experience? A few reasons actually.
The Influence Factor. Whether you know it or not, your experience will influence others and their decision to stop at a restaurant, or keep on driving. Now, this may sound rather creepy but it's true. As our society continues to revolve around mobile technology and real-time updates, consumers more than ever are relying on reviews left by you and me to help direct them on where to go.
Honesty is the Best Policy. You're hungry, and there are a handful of places that you can stop at within your desired driving distance. But how do you choose? Are you swayed by a clever advertising campaign? Maybe. But then you stumble upon the reviews left on a restaurant's location on Google. And the reviews suggest that not only will you wait an obnoxious amount of time, but also your food will not be worth the wait. There's no way a radio or TV commercial will tell you that.
Bad Reviews are Actually Helpful. No eatery wants less-than-stellar reviews. But this is the real world, my friends. I've had many conversations with restaurateurs on how reviews impact everything from menu changes to increased service levels. While it's always better to address dining issues with management while still at the restaurant, if a legitimate negative review is left a great owner/manager will reach out and ask for more details – and hopefully offer a way to make amends.
Pictures Tell a Story. Nothing makes stomachs growl and mouths water more than an image of the tasty morsels someone is about to eat. We're visual consumers and I dare you to tell me you do not eat with your eyes. The next time you're out, snap a picture of your edibles and post it onto food-specific apps like Foodspotting, or as part of your review on Yelp, UrbanSpoon or on Google Places. And as always, don't neglect your social communities on Twitter and Facebook.
Now it's your turn – how often do you rely on others' experiences to help you pick a place to eat, and how often are you sharing your experiences with others? What are some of your favorite mobile sites/apps to look for dining reviews?
My wife and I and 2 friends had dinner last Sunday night at Flemmings in Brookfield. The staff was friendly, prompt and the service was excellent...the food was served quickly, warm and was delicious. A bit expensive, but well worth the money. I will go back again.
Never again will I visit the Savoy Piano Bar & Lounge!
This is a horrible place. The food is atrocious and the people who work there are worse! Unbelievable. The worst dining experience of my life. Hands down.
Never, ever, again.
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