Critic Reviews…on Your Facebook Page?

June 1, 2015 - 3 minutes read

In a competitive move, Facebook has recently released a new feature which will affect your restaurant in more ways than one. Facebook has begun adding critic reviews to restaurant pages. For now this new feature is only available for ‘select’ restaurants in the US.

Instead of your Facebook page featuring reviews from your everyday diners, these critic reviews will come from people who make their living evaluating restaurants’ fare and ambiance.

The good news is, Facebook is partnering with reputable sources in the food industry: Bon Apetit, Conde Nast Traveler, Eater, and more. Most of the reviews published via these editorial sources tend to air on the side of positive, however there is always a catch. Facebook has said that they will show negative reviews if provided by the editorial source, meaning you have no way of regulating which reviews your fans see. This could be bad for restaurants who buy advertising space in your news feed, as they lose control over which types of reviews appear in their ads.

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Facebook is trying to compete head-to-head with other local search tools like Yelp, Google’s Zagat and TripAdvisor. A Facebook spokesperson informed the Verge that “Since reviews are such an important part of helping people make informed decisions about what to do locally, we’re excited to be incorporating a new way for people to use Facebook to find the best real-world experiences.”

The general public has mixed feelings over the actual quality these reviews willprovide to regular, hungry people. Food critics are usually coming from a place of culinary expertise, and often have an extensive checklist that includes, but is not limited to the impressiveness of the food. Would your neighborhood hotdog joint be reviewed with the same consideration as the Michelin-starred steakhouse down the street? My guess is not only will there be a disjunction in how restaurants are reviewed, but there will be multiple restaurants who aren’t reviewed at all. Is it fair for some to have famous food critics reviewing some, but not all?

Until then, we think that you can start to bolster your Facebook page against any negative reviews by asking diners who obviously enjoyed their meal (licked plate clean, asked for more) or even your regulars to leave their thoughts on your page. It never hurts to reach out to your diners for their opinion and participation.


We’ll be exploring this topic further as Facebook continues to offer more information.

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