It is unfortunately a habit for many of us: consult reviews on the internet before going to a restaurant. But some people do it for one and only reason, which is to damage the reputation of the establishment.
The owners of the “Peper” restaurant in Ghent are convinced of this: “We are 100% sure that they never came”, they explain to HLN, referring to the two out of five stars – or even one – that their have recently assigned a certain “IH” and “JM”. They deplore this sad phenomenon.
“We can see it in our reservation system. Luckily, it’s not often that we get a fake review, but every once in a while and it happens again and again. You are surprised and immediately think: what was wrong, where did we miss? Even if these people never came, it touches you,” says Stefanie.
So what should restaurateurs do to know if it is really a real criticism? Tim Joiris of the Horecacel of Unizo Flandre Orientale recommends that they respond to comments. “People looking at the reviews will know it’s a fake review,” he comments.