When Google decides to put a lot of effort into something, it rarely fails to be a huge success (apart from Google+. Let’s just forget about Google+)

So when whispers around the net begin to surface that Google are planning another stab at the social media landscape, this time with a social network focused entirely on food, it pays to sit up and pay attention.

The leaked screenshots of "Tablescape"

The leaked screenshots of “Tablescape”

Community for foodies

“Tablescape” appears to be for a community for foodies “to make, share and discover amazing foodographs”.

It is believed to be an offshoot of Google+ but could also be a stand alone feature.

Such a move would continue Google’s focus on foodie following their purchase of Zagat and changes to culinary searches on Maps.

“Tablescape” would also give users a good reason to get involved with Local Guides, the again-renamed review branch Google created to take on the likes of Yelp and Foursquare.

Leaked screenshots show posts from users with photos of their meals, as well as tips for taking pictures of your food.

Within the navigation pull-out is the ability for users to access their “foodographs,” as well as featured posts, a dish of the day, and other opportunities to explore the social network.

The information was funnelled from an existing group for foodies on Google+ called “The Plate.”

Watch this space

At the moment “Tablescape” appears to just be tested within Google with no information as to when and how it will be launched to the general public.

All we can do is watch this space (or plate).



We have all had traumatic dining experiences. Meals out so bad we logged online afterwards to leave the most scathing insult of all – a one star review.

The memory of a limp pasta and rude waiter may make you shudder with horror, but according to a report from linguists at Stanford University, diners who left one star restaurant reviews on Yelp adopted the same phrases as actual trauma victims.

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Professor Daniel Jurafsky, who studied the language in nearly a million online reviews of restaurants across the USA, said diners who left one star reviews used the past tense to distance themselves from the event, and terms such as “we” and “us” to share the pain.

He found that disastrous meals out were more often down to poor service than bad food, prompting reviewers to post scathing accounts filled with past tense narratives and first-person plural personal pronouns.

“These are exactly the same characteristics we see in people’s writing after they’ve been traumatised,” Jurafsky told the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in San Jose. “These people have suffered minor traumas from bad service, rudeness, or being cheated.

“When fans of Princess Diana were writing after her death, or when people were blogging after a campus tragedy, people talked in the past tense to distance themselves from the bad event, and referred to ‘us as a group’ and that ‘we are going to get through it together’,” he explained.

Sex and drug references

Meanwhile, diners who ate in expensive restaurants littered their reviews with sexual phrases while cheap restaurant reviews referenced drug taking.

“People who liked the expensive restaurants referred to ‘orgasmic pastry’, ‘seductively-seared foie gras’ and even ‘very naughty deep-fried pork belly’,” Jurafsky said, quoting from some of the reviews he studied.

But in cheaper restaurants diners talked of craving, being addicted, and needing a fix of items on the menus. One described garlic noodles as their drug of choice. All manner of food, from chips to cupcakes, was likened to crack.

Junk food, such as pizzas, chips and desserts, drew the most drug references from reviewers. “It’s as if they are feeling guilty, and that talking about the food as a drug, as an addiction, makes them feel less guilty, because they cannot help themselves. It’s like ‘the cupcake made me eat it’,” Jurafsky said.

Traumatic dining experiences

Back to the one star reviews. Here at simpleERB we firmly believe that as unpleasant as a bad restaurant experience can be, a little bit of trauma can build character and through the bad times you can emerge wiser.

Be strong. We’re here for you.

 



Us restaurateurs are a rather puffed up lot – when we get a good review we want it seen by as many people as possible.

In this day and age an integral part of this is ensuring said review is published on Yelp. Which as many restaurateurs know, is as easy as digging a ditch with a teaspoon.

people-Hate-us-on-Yelp

Or you could always go down this option

 

Recommendations

Writer Mike Blumenthal, has a written a blog post on this subject with his recommendations on how to get a good review of your restaurant published on Yelp

With filtering rates as hight as 85% for first time Yelp reviewers, any help advice is much needed. Here’s Blumenthal’s recommendations:

1- Login into you Yelp personal accounts.

2- Click on the Find Friends link on Yelp

3- Start with your Facebook friends and identify any that meet the minimum requirements for total reviews or friends. Reach out to them and ask for a Yelp review.

4. Once you have exhausted your Facebook friends, upload your Gmail (or other) mail contacts and do the same.

5. Assemble the list of those likely to get reviews approved and reach out to them via email or Facebook.

Monitor positive reviews with simpleERB

simpleERB allows you to easily monitor positive reviews and encourage the reviewers to share them on Yelp, Trip Advisor and Facebook (you’ll need to be logged into simpleERB to see this feature).

You can add a link to the customer confirmation email which allows the customer to submit feedback to you after their meal.

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When you get a good review you can tick a box on the email copy which sends them a request to share their review, along with links to your restaurant Facebook and Trip Advisor profiles.

simpleERB helps make it easy for your restaurant’s rave reviews to be seen.



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