Five Tips for Writing a Great Social Media Restaurant Review
Admit it. You’ve been bitten by the review bug. You just can’t wait to share your thoughts on that cozy hole-in-the-wall you stumbled on last weekend. Your opinion won’t mean much, though, if nobody takes the time to read what you’ve written. Here are some tips to make your next online review a stand-out that catch a reader’s eye.
Use Discount Codes On Your Review.
You can give out discount codes for hotels as part of your review. This is a great strategy. First, find some discount codes, which you can find on any coupon website, and then share them with you at the end of the review. Interested parties will appreciate that you’ve saved them some cash, and it costs you nothing!
Also, nothing captures people’s attention like images. If you didn’t take pictures while you were there at a restaurant, then you can enhance your review by adding stock images from iStock by Getty Images. You’ll get a professional, attention-getting image to accompany your review.
Whether you are singing its praises or eviscerating the little bistro around the corner, merely saying “the food was delicious” or “the meal was gross” doesn’t tell your readers very much about the restaurant. If the fried chicken was hot, crispy, and tender, then say so. If the chili was lukewarm, bland, and watery, let your readers know. Everyone’s palate is different, after all, so keep in mind that just because you don’t like a particular preparation doesn’t mean someone else won’t swoon over it. Say what, precisely, it was about the dish you found winning or lacking. By giving your readers the details of what you ate, you are helping them make an informed decision about whether to visit the eatery.
Dedicated foodies usually check online for a restaurant’s menu before making a dining decision, but others rely on a quick scan of reviews. There’s no need to reproduce the entire menu in your review, but do let readers know if the place has a wide selection or if its menu is limited. Anticipate questions a potential diner might ask, and answer them. For example, are the entrees mainly seafood? Can a vegan get a decent meal? Are there free refills on beverages?
Although the cuisine is the most crucial element in deciding where to eat, ambiance is a close second, so give your readers a sense of what it’s like to visit. Let them know is the restaurant a white tablecloth kind of place or if it is kid-friendly. They’ll appreciate knowing if they’ll need a flashlight to read the menu. Say a word or two about the service: is it friendly or surly? Fast or slow? Including this kind of information in your review adds to its authenticity and trustworthiness, and will give readers a sense that they’re choosing a restaurant based on reliable information.
avoid generalizing about a restaurant’s offerings if you only sampled a single dish. The exception to this, of course, is a restaurant that specializes in that recipe, such as a pizzeria or a bagel joint, to pretty much the exclusion of all else. In that case, the opposite is true: don’t judge the pizzeria on the pre-wrapped brownies it sells next to the register.
Don’t get carried away.
It can be wickedly satisfying to trash a place where you had a bad experience, but try not to be overly dramatic (or less than truthful) when critiquing a less-than-adequate meal. Whatever you do, don’t claim the food made you sick when it didn’t, and nothing undercuts readers’ confidence in a review faster than exaggerated exclamations about the wholesomeness of your order. Readers aren’t stupid: if your review is the only one among 50 to make such a claim, be assured careful readers will be skeptical of what you’ve written.
They’ll also be skeptical if your praise sounds suspiciously like ad copy. Even if you think Mama Adele’s baked lasagna is “big, bold, and bountiful,” try not to give in to the impulse to write like you’re auditioning for a gig on Madison Avenue, or worse yet, like the owner’s nephew. Fakery is surprisingly easy to spot.
Writing reviews is addictive, and it’s fun to watch the upvotes accumulate wherever you do your posting. The more you write, the better your result will be, especially if you follow these tips.