Don’t let your water cause bad ratingsOnline Reviews is the New World of Mouth

Reputation is everything – which is why word-of-mouth recommendations are so strong.

This process has been somewhat short-circuited by online reviews. Instead of building a reputation gradually, results can be immediate as customers post instant reviews – usually while still eating or drinking. 

A 2017 survey by the National Restaurant Association revealed that 51% of consumers said an online review influenced whether they would choose one restaurant over another.

However, there can be, at times, a downside for businesses as a result of instant online information: negative experiences can multiply quickly – and a hard-earned reputation can be undermined by a few bad reviews.

A separate survey by hospitality software company Fourth shows that it’s Millennials (16-29 years old) who are most likely to post negative reviews – whether it’s for lukewarm food or sub-standard coffee. Millennials were twice as likely to post an unfavourable review as 49-59-year-olds, said the survey.

Restaurants, coffee shops and other food services operators do as much as they can to minimise the chances of negative reviews by ensuring they serve high quality goods with excellent service.

So, what do you do if you notice you’re getting reviews that complain of ‘horrible coffee’ or ‘flat fizzy drinks’? Or if one of your outlets or vending machine locations is getting bad reviews, but the others aren’t?  You might blame your staff or the ingredients – but it could be your water that’s to blame. The problem could be as simple as your water filter needs replacing and so you are no longer getting quality water. 

Whilst there’s no question over the safety of unfiltered tap water, chemicals - chlorine and chloramines - used to disinfect water can linger, causing off-flavours. These will affect not just coffee and post-mixes, but any water based hot beverages and cold drinks containing ice. 

Some tap water is even tainted with microscopic solid particles, like rust or sand. They are not necessarily dangerous – and may be too small to see – but can still impart food and drinks with an unpleasant taste or mouthfeel, such as chalkiness or grittiness.

The unpleasant taste of chemicals and solid particles – all potentially the source of negative reviews – can all be easily removed by filtration.  Good water filter management - monitoring and replacing spent water filters on time - can prevent inconsistency in the quality of the beverages you serve and ensure a consistently positive experience for your customers. 

Of course, there is a danger of over worry about online reviews, and that a single negative review will reduce your customer base to zero. However, common sense continues to prevail by getting the fundamentals right, especially with things like consistently good water, the positive reviews will far outweigh the negative.

3M is a one-stop shop, with multiple filtration technologies to suit any water requirement. 3M’s experts are on hand to recommend solutions and provide advice every step of the way, whether you’re a business owner, equipment manager or part of the servicing industry. Consult one of our experts at stand F110 at HRC!