The Daily Rail: How to Understand if a Restaurant Review is Worth Sharing

NEWS: Top Restaurant Industry Stories of 2017

Crazy to think but 2018 is just around the corner. That means we’re taking some time to look at the year that was and cover what we think the top restaurant stories of 2017 were. What were your big stories this year?


Out of This World Weekend

Star Wars: The Last Jedi posted the second-largest opening ever with $220 million, a 41% jump over Star Wars: Rogue One and just behind its predecessor Star Wars: The Force Awakens.


Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, is opening a pop-up restaurant for two days in Detroit, perfectly named MOM’S SPAGHETTI. The menu is super limited -- mom’s spaghetti (with or without meatballs), and a s’ghetti sandwich. Just gotta hope no one throws it up.

DOL Extends Tip Pooling Comment Period

The Department of Labor wants to rollback Obama-era tip pooling rules and are extended the comment/feedback deadline from 30 to 60 days. The extension came after pressure from Democrats since the DOL did not release a quantitative analysis of the impacts of the rule. Stay tuned later this week for more on how the change may affect restaurants.


Why it matters to you: Franchisors no longer have to worry about franchisee employment policies.

The National Labor Relations Board reversed itself from a 2015 ruling that directly linked the behavior of franchisees to franchisors using a concept called joint employer. The idea is that the employees of any franchisee are also the responsibility of the franchisor. This would allow aggrieved employees to sue both the franchisee that controlled their work environment and the franchisor that licensed the franchisee to use their name. At question is whether the inherent relationship between the franchise parties implies control of the franchisee over the franchisor’s behavior.

Franchisors’ have argued vehemently that the very nature of their relationship demands an acknowledgement of separation. If you work for a franchised concept then you know the truth of this assertion. Sure the franchisor can tell you what chicken wings to buy, but they can’t dictate your hiring practices, or labor policies. The challenge that argument claims they are providing training and other guideline materials concerned with labor practices, so they are clearly jointly managing the employees. This ruling clears that up. Now, franchisors have no legal connection to how employees are managed at their franchised locations. This is good news for the franchisor and a more direct accountability to the franchisee, which we think is a just fine.


Why it matters to you: Understanding a review may reveal if it’s worth sharing.

Online reviews can be the lifeblood of a restaurant that relies on Yelp for driving traffic. In fact, restaurant operators can use positive reviews to their advantage. This post highlights how to analyze a quality review. While intended for use by consumers, there is much for operators to learn as well. A good review can be used as a referral or highlighted on your site or social media. It also can be leveraged to learn where you can improve your operations. Consequently, learning how to read a review for quality will ensure you don’t waste time on unqualified reviews.

When reading a review, your first focus is to see how well the writer describes their experience. This is crucial because a vague description of place implies the reviewer wasn’t really engaged and it’s likely not a serious reviewer. However, those that have specific feedback on the quality of their experience are demonstrating they are concerned about representing their experience accurately in their review. That’s a sure sign the review is at least worthy of your attention.  We suggest you go back to your own Yelp or other review site account and reread any reviews with an eye for more detail. You might identify someone to site as social proof or connect with an influencer opportunity.