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ComputerGuy

Restaurants going out of business because of this board? Hardly.

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I've seen restaurants go out of business for poor write ups on this board.... 

Not wanting to hijack the Small Claims thread, starting this new one. The above is a quote from Ajijic_hiker.

I would say that comment might be a bit of an overstatement. The percentage of people who use this board, compared to the number of expats who live here, is miniscule. And of course Mexicans and tourists make up a huge part of the restaurant-going public, and they don't read this board. Sure, a new restaurant may get a nice bump for a week or so from the maybe dozen people on this board who will try it. But to say they have an influence on how well or how poorly a place does... no.

A restaurant here survives or dies based on its own merits. The fact that we have so many die has nothing to do with a bad review from one of us. In fact, I know even a cursory overview of past reviews will reveal very, very few negative posts. It usually only happens when something really bad has caused a nasty visit. I personally dislike jumping down the throat of a place I didn't like; rather, you'll see my posts are generally only positive ones. (That doesn't mean I avoid anything negative within those comments.) And most members here are the same.

But again, the very small group of people who like to eat out and report their findings here, is far too puny to make any kind of an impact, except for that initial round. Now, it may be misleading for the restaurant owner, who is surprised by having a bunch of guests during the opening week or so, only to discover that the "crowd" has dwindled out the next week. But that should only cause an owner to redouble efforts. Which they often don't, especially when they don't even bother maintaining a firm grip on day-to-day operations. So many of them are off-site, and that just doesn't work. Look at the popular restaurants: the owners are always there.

 

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Very much agree. Just look at Tango which has been going strong for 14 years. Good food, reasonable prices and good service. Restaurants that fail violate one or all three. Southern Sisters is a good example of the latter. 

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I value the reviews of ComputerGuy and all of the reviews.  I don't believe any one writes a review out of malice.  If the review is bad, I would think the restaurant deserves it.  I understand all restaurants prepare some things better than others.  I have a bad habit of sometimes ordering something I know better to than to do.  For instance going to a fish place and ordering a steak.  When I get a bad steak I don't hold it against the restaurant because there specialty was fish and I knew this.   I do disagree on the effects of the reviews.  If I see a good review I may invite friends to go to the restaurant with me.  They probably have not seen this forum, in turn if they like the restaurant they may invite people to go to the restaurant or give it a good reference to someone.  The first time I went to Cocinart was because a Canadian I barely knew gave it a good reference.  This effect of invited people and references can make a good review worth 8 to 10 times one persons viewing of a good review. Fifty people people viewing the review can turn into 400 to 500 visits by new people over the course of a few months.  By contrast if it is a bad review I will probably not go there.  I will also not invite other people to eat there and I may or may not tell someone else about the bad review so the effect is minimal.

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I agree with you mostly, but I do feel your exponential returns are far too high.  I base this on frequenting all kinds of places, but more than that, having a friend in the advertising business here who knows every restaurant owner well, and exactly what effect a review on this board has, and how briefly it lasts.

But this board has also taught me whose tastebuds I trust, and whose I don't. I've been surprised by people I am friends with who have no taste at all. At least not in my world, and that is about as subjective as it gets, lol.

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Then, there's the fact that there has been a proliferation of new restaurants lately.  This may work to keep them all in business for the high season, but here we are in the wasteland of summer and many simply will not survive.

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Absolutely spot on. And it boggles me why so many start up in the down-season. Sure, I can understand little taco places and the like. But we frequently have situations like Southern Sisters who opened during the worst time of the year for business. They would have had to have been pretty darn good to survive that. And according to Jerry Mundel's new book EATING OUT IN AJIJIC, there are over 140 restaurants lakeside at any given time. That is a helluvalotof places vying for our money.

(Shameless plug: Book available in paperback or Kindle format on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Eating-Out-Ajijic-Jerry-Mundel/dp/1070829919/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=jerry+mundel&qid=1560379742&s=gateway&sr=8-1

and soon to be available in print, probably Monday coming, locally and from the author himself.)

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1 minute ago, ComputerGuy said:

And according to Jerry Mundel's new book EATING OUT IN AJIJIC, there are over 140 restaurants lakeside at any given time.

His promo says, "This restaurant guide provides a sampling of terrific places to eat in Ajijic. It is not all encompassing, and may not include your favorite, but with something like 140 eateries in our little village, there is no way to list them all."

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I stand corrected, but you just made my point that much stronger.

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Where can his book be bought locally?

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The problem with any restaurant review book, is that it is woefully out of date at its release (assuming he put more than a week's worth of research into the book).

Hours/days change; chefs change; menus change, prices change, locations change, ownership changes, management changes, management and/or ownership level of quality changes.   Eateries go belly up at a moment's notice.  All the things we discuss here all the time.  

Best reviews are au courant.  And even then, as CG said, what one reviewer thinks a particular dish should taste like, may not match your own taste buds.   Tripadvisor, Yelp, Google reviews (also look at UK and NZ, etc. tripadvisor pages, not just US) have more current feedback.  Tripadvisor also has a great map layout for people afoot.  FB and/or website of eateries are usually better than a months or years old book about them.  

I used to look fwd to buying the newest Zagats for DC-Metro in the 80s and 90s, but they stopped print editions in the 2000's, acknowledging that books of this nature cannot compete with online info.  

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