In the past, if you were dissatisfied with the service in a restaurant or shop, you would withhold the tip, or demand to speak to the manager for a stern talking to. But now, if you are dissatisfied with the service anywhere, you would write a review on Yelp.
Yelp has gradually become the place to write scathing reviews of how the waiter sneezed in your soup, or how the shop owner tried to sell you something off the back of a truck. But other similar recommendation sites have sprung up in its shadow, which also serve the same purpose. Such as these five.
We start with FriendsEat which appears to be US-only. It is a friends recommendation site for restaurants, and you can start by logging in with your Facebook credentials.
When writing a review, you can specify the little details such as whether or not they accept plastic, if there’s parking, if you can smoke, etc. Then score the restaurant by food, decor, or service. Here is an example.
On the main page of MerchantCircle, you need to first search what you are looking for, and specify a location. You will then get a circle on the next page showing your location and red pins showing where the desired company is located (if it’s a franchise, the map will show them all).
On the left is a list of all the companies, complete with contact details. You can click on each one to see its own unique web page. On this web page, you can rank the business and leave a review. Here is an example.
Menuism is devoted solely to restaurant reviews, and from the looks of things, people are flocking to leave their opinions on everything from Chinese restaurants to Dairy Queen’s.
After signing in with your Facebook credentials, you can add restaurants to a “Try List”, upload pictures, and of course, write a review.
BooRah lets you rate places by a Boo (not good) or a Rah (Yeeahh!). The reviews themselves, seem to be pulled in from places such as TripAdvisor, but this site acts as a good way to get an initial impression of a place, by the Boos and Rahs it has received (makes me feel I am back in kindergarten!). You can rank each place in Boos and Rahs on its food, service, and ambience.
In the left-hand column is a list of top restaurants and you can see from their percent score, how good they are.
MouthShut is an India-only review site, and I chose it, because my editor is from India and I like to grovel. No, seriously. India is a vast country, with many online users, so why not feature it? In the future, the site may go international, so this is one to watch.
The site covers many areas, not just restaurants. Hardware, personal finance, and educational institutions are just three other areas you can benefit from.
The lesson to take away here is that no one site holds a monopoly on anything. There will always be competitors vying for the crown. Which one do you think deserves to sit on the throne?
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