Choose Compassion


How do you choose a restaurant that you want to dine at? Is it through Yelp or Google reviews or is it word of mouth? I dabble on the app Yelp but mostly my dining decisions are based on word of mouth. We are living in a world where online reviews matter!

We love going out to eat and trying new places and I take pride in finding the most interesting and delicious dish on a menu. My husband calls “ordering well” my superpower (he means “ordering” at a restaurant not ordering him around). When utilizing online reviews I look at the photographs and read about people’s favorite dishes, and I make it a point to ignore the reviews that attack the service.

The ability to hear about other people’s experiences at a restaurant has changed over the years with the development of social media and apps like Yelp. It forces restaurants to stay competitive in a saturated market. The downside of the virtual world of reviews is the personal negative attacks.

When I read reviews I am struck by the lack of compassion for humanity.

There are online reviews attacking a food server’s choice of shoes, clothing, hair color, their accent, how they smiled, if they knew exact ingredients in a dish, if they knew which region a wine was from, if they said “sir” too much, if they did not say “sir” enough….the nitpicking goes on and on in the world of online reviews. Whenever I read a review that attacks the server I wonder how much time the person writing the review spent working in food and beverage, and then I wonder if the reviewer’s job performance has ever been attacked online.

After being in a major pandemic for over a year I would have hoped our society would have become more compassionate to those around us. I would have hoped we would have entered a place where we realize that what we post online hurts others, and that our words have the power to affect others.

The next time you are about to hit submit on a review, can you ask yourself how you would feel if your job performance was published all over the internet? Before you knock their speed to delivering your drinks did you take the time to talk to the server and hear their story? Or did you look around and notice they were also trying to do the job of three other people because they were short-staffed?

What if that person that you are about to slam for not being knowledgeable enough about the menu or friendly enough was up all night with an infant? Or what if they just had a family member pass away? What if this is their second or third job and this is their 70th hour of work that week? What if they are in massive pain but cannot afford to take a day off?

There are no paid sick days or personal days when working as a server making $2.13 (plus tips, hopefully) an hour. Most people cannot afford to take a day off. They may just barely be hanging on yet a reviewer is quick to hit submit and rip every moment of their service apart.

As moms, we are here to set an example for our children. 

Teach your child to be a compassionate person. Teach them to open their eyes and realize that they do not know what someone is going through until they have walked a day in that person’s shoes.

Yes, it is their choice to work in the world of customer service but put compassion above your need to express your online opinion. You never know when that online opinion will cost them their livelihood.

“How would your life be different if…You stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? Let today be the day…You look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free