Momma always said, “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it.” But our history teachers always told us we’re entitled to free speech. lies somewhere in between: A greater preference for Mom’s motto, than for negative reviews. We expect a mix of mostly The Good, a little bit of The Bad, and hopefully not too much of The Ugly. 

If you’re stuck with the latter two, try to be constructive and offer suggestions. A helpful method is to use Sandwich Criticism: “Business XYZ serves a mean Cajun Shrimp, but its service would be far less muddy if they had agreed to seat us at a quieter table.” Complaint without a solution won’t get you far – so work together, and not against each other.

Remember what your teacher said about writing good essays: “Show, don’t tell” but don't embellish a lengthy yarn either. Stick to the facts for legitimacy, and a little bit of storytelling to keep us hooked. Oh, and remember the one exception to the First Amendment – does not tolerate fake reviews that are intended to harm business reputations. Neither do local business’ attorneys. For more reviewer guidelines, see our reviewer guidelines.