Like it or loathe it, TripAdvisor is a platform used by millions of people everyday who want a second opinion on whether a hotel, restaurant or place of interest is actually worth visiting. The thing is, anyone can set up an account and they can more or less say whatever they like. The trouble is, this can damage a businesses reputation and each review could actually just be made up!
I have never written a review on TripAdvisor. I have used it to look for that second opinion that I was on about but gave up as the reviews are so mixed that you come out more confused than when you went in.
Yesterday, former Masterchef finalist and new Cheltenham restauranteur Andrew "Koj" Kojima received a bad review. The person complaining mentioned "Bland Food and Drink", "Lots of tables next to each other" and, my favourite, "Odd flavoured cocktails". For the interest of balance this may all have been true. Koj may have had an off night and the staff may have not been on the ball fully. You have better nights than others, it happens. But this review is virtually opposite to what everyone else has said about Koj on TripAdvisor. Reluctantly Koj replied and was very graceful with it. Other restaurant owners may not have been so civil. But that doesn't take away from the fact that that review will be there forever. People will read through 50 good ones and get to this one and will have second thoughts. The person who complained about Koj also gave Pitville Park a bad review last year for being “NOISY AND FULL OF CHILDREN”......... wait for it.......... in the summer! Those pesky children enjoying themselves, whatever next?
So why should we take their opinion seriously? We shouldn't of course. But in six paragraphs this person has tried to damage the reputation of one of Cheltenham's newest dining venues. Who says that he wasn't in a negative mood going into the meal. As Koj points out in his reply "a restaurant experience is subjective" and can be "dependent on your own mood or frame of mind on a particular day".
So think twice before you post a negative review on TripAdvisor and perhaps just speak to a member of staff before taking to the internet and hiding behind a username.
You can read the review and Koj's response here - KOJ TRIPADVISOR and the amusing review from the same TripAdvisor user about Pitville Park below!