If you have followed the Budapest blog for a while you may have noticed that there are quite a lot of reviews and thoughts on different subjects here. The truth is, however, that I do not really like to write Budapest reviews, and here is the reason!
In today’s Internet world people keep looking to the Internet for information before coming to a city. Here they will find information about restaurants they consider to visit, hotels they might want to live in and activities they want to check out. This is great and can help the traveler find the best activities, restaurants and hotels, and it is truly for the good of the traveler that it is this way. But, there is another side of the coin.
My Budapest review problem
When I visit a restaurant I always plan on writing a review and share my thoughts about the place in the blog later. As long as the food and the service is great I write reviews and share my experience with great joy. But, from time to time I visit places were either the service or the food, or maybe even both are bad, or maybe even worse, terrible… and that is when the problem occurs.
When some tourist ask me about night clubs in Budapest I always tell them that I do not really have a clue and that they should ask Google instead. If they see a night club they might want to enter, type the name into Google first to see if it has a good reputation, or if it is a well known rip-off place (which unfortunately can be said about quite some night clubs in Budapest). Before entering a restaurant to grab something to eat, many people do the same and Google the restaurant to read some reviews before entering. And, if someone Google a restaurant that I have visited and written a poor review about it, the result is that the person will go somewhere else and not visit the given restaurant. Is that a problem?
No… but, maybe yes! There are people working in that restaurant, and some of those people have looked for ages for a job and they do their best to get things going around. A couple of bad reviews on the Internet can in some cases be enough to destroy the total reputation of a restaurant, at least if it is quite new on the market. This will with time result in a restaurant closing down and people losing their job… But, when I wrote that original review it wasn’t my intention for anyone to lose their job, all I wanted to do was to inform people about my experience. But, the consequence of doing so had greater impact than I imagined. (luckily this is hypothetical, so this has not happened and hopefully will never happen).
What is the solution to my review problem?
Should I really care? If a bad restaurant is closed down and the people working there lose their job, isn’t that a good thing? At least no more people need to suffer eating their food and paying for bad service and food… Or maybe I should write the review, share it with the owner of the restaurant first, and see if he has any response to it. If he doesn’t care, then it really is his problem, but if he believe this to be a mistake or an unlucky evening, then maybe he will invite me back for a dinner another night to make it good again and show me what the restaurant is really like? But, maybe I will then be treated in a certain way because I am a blogger, while all other guests are treated in the same poor way as I was treated before the owner new that I was a blogger.
Another solution would be to not write anything at all when I feel like writing a negative review. In that way I will not harm anyone, except from other people throwing away their money on the same poor experience I had myself.
Help me guys… anyone got any idea on how to solve this? Should I care, or should I not care? What would you do?