Kiwis quick to rate restaurants online

By Amelia Wade

More than a third of New Zealanders who use social media to rate their dining experience will post within hours of the meal - 27 per cent of whom will do so immediately, a new survey has found.

And Wellingtonians were the most likely of all to post a negative write-up of a dining experience.

The American Express Dining Survey also found those who dined out the most frequently - once a week or more - were the most influenced by online reviews when choosing a dining destination.

However, on the whole New Zealanders who use social media to rate their dining experiences were more likely to use it to rate a good dining experience (56 per cent) than bad (32 per cent), the survey of 1000 New Zealanders found.

Restaurant Association of New Zealand's chief executive Marisa Bidois said most restaurateurs were used to negative reviews being posted online on sites like MenuMania.

"But the only thing with Facebook is, is that if the comments are made in a link that the restaurateur is able to see then it's harder for them to handle the comments," she said.

Ms Bidois recommended that if someone was going to write something bad about a restaurant on social media, be fair and do it somewhere that the business can see it so they can defend themselves.

"But a lot of restaurateurs are very good at dealing with those online comments, they'll address those comments straight away ... and ask them what was wrong or invite them back another night," Ms Bidois said.

Restaurants could use the social media reviews as insights to ensure they maintained their reputation online.

"It's crucial for restaurant owners to be mindful of what is being said about them online, especially as their most frequent customers - and therefore arguably the most valuable - seem to be the most influenced by online reviews."

DINING OUT
Of the Kiwis who use social media to post reviews:
* 56 per cent said they would rate a good experience.
* 32 per cent would rate a bad experience.
* Those aged 18- to 29-years-old and Wellingtonians are most likely to rate their experience on a social networking site.
* Aucklanders (70 per cent) and Wellingtonians (74 per cent) are more likely to be influenced by reviews.

- NZ Herald

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