By Jim McCarthy Mar 31, 2011 2 comments

Do Restaurateurs Hate Groupon and Yelp?

On the heels of my comments the other day, I came across some more information.  This graphic sums up (rather awkwardly) the results of a survey done by a restaurant supplies company of restaurateurs and their views of sites like Groupon, Yelp and others:

The gist of it is that when given a choice among four types of sites (with Groupon as the poster child for ‘discount sites’ and Yelp as the poster child for “Online Review Sites”), restaurateurs identified  either discount sites and online review sites as the most negative for the industry more than 85% of the time.

This is a weird survey because it doesn’t ask people IF they thought these things were negative.  Heck, in theory, someone could think they’re all positive influences on the industry, but if you answered the survey, you’d still have to order them as the “most negative.”  Likewise, the “most positive” question puts “Social Media Sites” on top with discount sites at the bottom, but right in a cluster with Online Review Sites and Online Reservation Sites (of which Open Table is the poster child for the purpose of this survey.)

It’s an interesting result, and I’m a little detached from it, as we don’t serve the restaurant business at all really.  But I think the structure of the question is highly flawed.  I would rather have known the answer to the following question:

What do you feel the influence on the restaurant business has been from Online Review Sites (or Discount Sites, etc.)?

Very positive     Somewhat Positive    Neutral   Somewhat Negative    Very Negative

That would have given a much clearer picture of the feelings of the group surveyed.  As it is, it’s served up as a sound bite about the “negative” feelings that restaurateurs have toward Yelp and Groupon.  They may well have those feelings, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it from this survey.

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    2 Comments

    • Simon Lear

      Great infographic for small business owners! I actually found it over at this page that brings a lot of the information on Groupon, LivingSocial, and other daily deal sites for small businesses together. Its definitely worth a look at: http://on.fb.me/gRzGyk

    • Erik Keith

      Groupon is highly cost prohibitive and in many cases fails to deliver new, repeat customers.

      Yelp can be a double edged sword in the sense that anyone can submit negative reviews which responding to and managing effectively can become quite time intensive. On the latter end, if you consistently receive good reviews, you’re likely to entice curious, new clientele.

      Sites like Open Table facilitate one thing and one thing only, reservations. While a convenient feature for consumers, is unlikely to drum up much new business for the restaurant.

      It doesn’t surprise me to see Facebook and Foursquare resulting in “having the most positive effect” on small restaurants. With a very low barrier of entry, restaurants can aggregate the deals, promotions, reservations, reviews all into one platform which they control and manage. Not only that, but once the consumer becomes a fan, they’re essentially signing themselves up to become part of the restaurant’s “social CRM database.”

      I definitely agree, the questions should have been framed differently to capture the actual sentiment and experience offered by each platform. They definitely missed the boat in that regard. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!