You’ve Just Been Yelped

Dimmi

You all are probably very familiar with the popular review site Yelp by now. The concept is fairly simple: you visit a business and you write a review about your experience. You can also add “tips” and photos if you’d like.

Yelp

But this experience is typically experienced only by the consumer, not the business owner. Well, what if it could go both ways?

Popular ride-sharing apps such as Lyft and Uber allow a two-way rating system: passengers leave ratings for their drivers, and drivers leave ratings for their passengers.

LyftUber

Wouldn’t that be great if all business owners could incorporate this into their business models? Well one restaurant reservation system based out of Sydney is certainly intent on trying.

Dimmi ResDiary, Australia’s version of OpenTable, gives participating restaurants the ability to track and rate customers’ dining ‘performance’. Everything from what they ordered, how much they tipped right down to any over-the-top requests they may have made while dining are all included in a diner’s profile. This gives any servers working that day the opportunity to appropriately prepare themselves for what kind of day they might have ahead of them.

The hope is that, “Diners will behave better, tip better, treat staff better. It will help improve the industry and may help the diner get that all important upgrade next time,” says Dimmi CEO, Stevan Premutico.

With access to this platform, each of the 2,500 member restaurants have the ability to inform the community at large about you. Little details such as if you prefer a window seat, whether you typically order appetizers or just go straight for the entrée, or even what you do for a living and whether you are attractive or not.

Google

Of course, this is nothing short of what any restaurant owner could potentially find out about you by performing a simple Google search.

At Eleven Madison Park, this is something that maître d’ Justin Roller does on a day-to-day basis, according to Grubstreet. Not only that, but, “I’m looking for chef’s whites and wine glasses,” he says, indicating that he’s especially on the lookout for undercover chefs and sommeliers.

ElevenMadisonPark

But having a diner profile on the site will likely at least eliminate the margin of error when searching for a particular diner, even if just by a little bit.

This is not unlike the story we posted a few weeks ago about a taxi driver leaving mean, if not downright cruel, reviews of his passengers to his Twiiter page.

So what do you think? Do you think you would be more inclined to behave better if you felt you were being ‘graded’ by your server? Or do you think you would be less inclined to a dine at a restaurant if you knew it was a participant in this program?

Online Reviews Going Mobile – In A New Way

Last year, many review sites launched mobile reviewing capabilities. While many already had apps for smartphones, they had not previously allowed users to leave reviews straight from their mobile devices.

Now, there are even more gadgets cropping up that are allowing users to read reviews (but not leave them..yet) while on the go, two of which we wanted to focus on today.

Many new vehicle models have built-in GPS as a standard feature, particularly in luxury vehicles. One example is Lexus. In one of their newest 2014 models, we noted that there were apps in their app suite that included OpenTable and Yelp, pictured below.

Navigation
Having these review sites readily available within the on-board navigation system is not only huge for review sites who decide to partner with companies who develop these, but more importantly the consumers and business owners. Online reviews are no longer relegated to those with access to a computer or smartphone; if you’re not at your computer and you have your phone with you, but it’s dead, you can now consult your trusty navigation system.

With the recent launch of Google Glass, many innovators have been inspired to launch gadgets of their own. Enter Pebble. Pebble is a small start-up that develops ‘smartwatches’ that can sync to not only your phone and your vehicle (if you have a Mercedes, that is), but your life. They generated over $10 million on Kickstarter in a matter of weeks, and they’re not stopping there.

That being said, they recently launched a new line of their smartwatches called Pebble Steel – available January 26, 2014. These stainless steel beauts are designed to cater to the more stylishly-discerning techie. They include several different apps, including Yelp and Foursquare. Check out mentions of the apps in the video below at 3:50 and 4:40, respectively.

With all these gadgets and apps launching this year (and it’s only January), there’s no limit to how important online reviews will become not only this year, but in the years to come. As always, let us know your thoughts in the comments below!