Thanks to technology, people can now scope out a business before ever stepping inside.
“If we’re feeling Cuban or we’re feeling Jamaican or anything that we’re feeling for the night, we’ll usually just go on Google,” said Tallahassee resident Laporsha Rivers about searching for restaurants.
And Laporsha isn’t alone. Studies show nearly 70 percent of Americans read online reviews before making a purchase.
“Yeah we get a lot of people to come in, they give us positive reviews and people look at that and say, ‘wow I should probably check that out,’” said Metro Deli employee David Alcala.
But how trustworthy are these reviews?
The online review company Yelp has its own consumer protection team to weed out fake reviews. Last month alone — it flagged 59 companies for what it considers deceptive practices.
“There are services you can pay to get give you reviews that are positive but if you really look into it, I think the average person is smart enough to tell between a fake review and a real one,” said Derek Hart, Owner of Fire Betty’s.
“I’ve seen a lot of reviews that I can pretty much tell it came from the actual restaurant,” said Tallahassee Resident Kayleigh Koskan & Katie Loret
Many Tallahassee business owners say they stick to the old fashioned way of getting positive reviews.
“Treat people not just like a customer who gives us their business but their giving us their time to come here,” said David Alcala.
And if a complaint does come up, actually reach out to the customer.
“The age-old, the customer is always right, when someone does have a concern and they bring it to your attention, make them feel validated and feel like you addressed that concern,” said Derek Hart.
That way, those positive reviews will spread the old fashioned way — by word of mouth.