4. Red flag: Their reviews are really bad
When a restaurant is looking to boost and promote its online profile, the manager may hire PR teams to reach out to local bloggers, journalists, and people who frequently post reviews. They may offer free or discount meals and turned-up customer service, hoping for a great review—but that may not be the real restaurant experience, Meléndez says.
“Restaurants, especially upscale ones, have PR teams dedicated to generating good publicity. Whether it be a write up on Eater or pictures of your favorite influencer dining there, we work around the clock to ensure restaurants are always providing stellar service,” Meléndez says.
“But what matters is how they treat everyone. If you see influencers singing their praises on Instagram but find their Yelp reviews are questionable, this is a big indication of bad service.”