A recent poll conducted by Tundra Specialties, a national distributor of restaurant supplies and equipment, revealed a negative view of two websites that have dramatically altered the food service industry in recent years.
Tundra surveyed customers over a month long period in order to better understand how the food service industry is reacting to the rapidly increasing influence of the web on their business.
A wide range of Tundra customers were asked which of four groups of websites they felt affected the food service industry most positively and most negatively. The four consisted of group discount sites like Groupon, online review sites like Yelp, online reservation sites like OpenTable, and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and FourSquare.
The polling data shows restaurateurs are evenly divided over which website is affecting their business the most negatively. The split is between Groupon, the group discounting site, and Yelp, the restaurant review site.
43% thought Yelp was hurting restaurants the most while 41% felt Groupon was the more damaging website to food service.
The biggest problem these two sites present for restaurants is brand management. Yelp gives every customer a soapbox from which every flaw in a restaurant’s performance can be broadcast through a very loud megaphone. Many restaurateurs have struggled with how to respond to the criticism effectively while limiting damage to their brand.
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