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Author Topic: Why is there so much lashon hora on here about restaurants (and other things)  (Read 7529 times)

Offline Gvann

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posting this here because this ends up being where most of the restaurant talk is and where I think its most relevant to

This website is great, there is so much help for people trying to do almost literally everything, from travel and airlines to just lending a hand for a favor. and its great. Its really klal yisroel working together to help each other out in whatever way they can. But something lately has simply been getting at me and I feel the need to publicize what I think is really wrong on here.

Plain and simple, the amount of lashon hara on here about restaurants is astounding. The horrible language about simple yidden trying to make a living and having done nothing wrong other than serving you a burger that wasnt up to your taste buds. Its just not right. Its lashon hara beyond reason and has no toeles what so ever. Yes, we all want to go out to eat at good places when we are on vacation (or in our home towns) but why cant the posts relevant to that be positive and instead of talking about who makes good or not so good food just talk about where you enjoyed eating.

The types of posts talking negatively about restaurants are just disgusting. And it seems to come from everyone from newer members all the way through some pretty senior members on here. But saying that you had a horrible experience at a restaurant or that the food was just plain bad, stay away, betting so much money about a restaurant being uncapable of winning a stupid goyish award that means absolutely nothing is just not allowed. its plain and simple lashon hara and besides for that its embarassing a yid and his business on a forum that has thousands of people looking at what you say. And who says the owner isnt on the website as well and sees your posts about his food?

There are other threads that have been hot topic recently that people are trying to make a big deal about not speaking lashon hara about groups of people in israel, etc that arent even that offensive and are the centerpoint of real hashkafic debates, yet when it comes to rating food, which one has to hashkafikly ask whether its the best use of their time in the first place, people have the most disgusting mouths saying slander about good hearted people that daven in shul three times a day and maybe even have a learning seder and just want to make a living in a world where lettuce costs 10 dollars a box. So why is it worth destroying someone's "reputation" to say such terrible things about their business? Maybe with such a disgusting mouth thats why the food didnt taste so good...

I also think that the thread rating airline food is just wrong. to every level. If you got good food, great. go post about how great it was and how lucky you were to have been graced with good airplane food. But to have a scale and rate jewish caterers on a scale of 1-10 (and using their company names to create a ranking in the first place is pure lashon hara with absolutely zero toeles because you can't choose from a menu of caters what you want to eat that day on the plane and all it is doing is saying that someone makes food that you call disgusting. Now, im not talking about when the airline messes up your meal for whatever reason. Im talking about rating jewish companies with calling their food inedible and all the foul language that has come along with it. It is simply purely lashon hara and really needs to stop. Again, its not stam lashon hara but its lashon hara on a forum that has thousands of people viewing what you wrote. If thats not embarrassing someone b'farhesia then what is?

I really think that if someone can get banned on here and posts removed for selling points then at the very least moderators should be monitoring such terrible language about our fellow yidden. Its something that makes such a chilul hashem on a website that really has potential to be a massive kiddush hashem. And I think that as a group we have to try and keep the website as the latter rather than the former. If you liked a restaurant, great! enjoy it. post about it! let people know what you liked. But posting negative things about a yid's business (especially on opinionated details!!!!) is just not mutar. (I know, Im paskining. But its not my psak, its from big rabbanim).

I can feel mashiach coming closer already...






Offline Aerial Dag

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If a kosher caterer gets a contract with an airline and then decides that its cheaper for them to use bad ingredients and not make any effort in giving an enjoyable meal, we're all just supposed to take it and never say a word? It's not like you can just go to a different caterer like you can go to a different restaurant. The owners are definitely not the ones who personally made the food but they are the ones who can change the menu. What's wrong with putting pressure on them to make an enjoyable meal?

Offline jj1000

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Who says it's not toeles?

Isn't yidishe money being spent or vacation time off, toeles?

It's crazy to think that because someone is Jewish, people can't review their product/establishment IMO.
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Offline Moshe Green

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A lot of good points.

On the other hand, letting people waste their money is also wrong. Why should we care about the owner of the restaurant more than the one eating out.

Maybe the negative posts could be kept to situations where they would apply in many or all situations. (Example: The burger was not tasty or the food was too expensive.) But in other situations, such as July 4th Sunday and the place was packed and you had to wait a whole 20 minutes for your pizza, not to say.

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I understand your pain, and it is good that you feel that way. However, although certain posts can be worded a bit more carefully, I believe that the toeles of the posts are clear. For example, regarding airline food, it is clear that the way one would prep for a flight food-wise will be different depending on what food one expects to get (not different versus when one expects to get a meal one would not rely on kashrus-wise). However, one who will never fly should not read the posts about airline food. Similarly, don't read any restaurant reviews that are out of your budget or not where you live or will be traveling.

I have posted RYBs' take on online reviews here, if you are interested. In particular, he has no problem giving it a rating (when backing it up with facts).
https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=131402.msg2656425#msg2656425

I repeat, it is certainly the case that those who write reviews (who SHOULD do so, as a clear toeles) should be as careful as possible with their wording.

On the other hand, letting people waste their money is also wrong. Why should we care about the owner of the restaurant more than the one eating out.
Mai chazis cases? You don't say anything and let the money be spent where it will. This is different - as noted elsewhere in Dovid Jaffe's sefer, business owners are happy to have reviews written about their businesses if the review is A) True and B) emphasises maalos and not just chesronos. (Though if just chesronos and there are no mitigating factors, he is essentially a crook and the mai chazis is clear.)

Maybe the negative posts could be kept to situations where they would apply in many or all situations. (Example: The burger was not tasty or the food was too expensive.) But in other situations, such as July 4th Sunday and the place was packed and you had to wait a whole 20 minutes for your pizza, not to say.
It is fine to write that you had to wait if you explain why and suggest it may not always be the case. (I want to know the matzav on July 4th too, if it comes up.)
It is also important that your complaints are accurate. Make sure you know what is expensive, or better, just say what it cost without commenting at all. 

A lot of good points.
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Offline Gvann

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If a kosher caterer gets a contract with an airline and then decides that its cheaper for them to use bad ingredients and not make any effort in giving an enjoyable meal, we're all just supposed to take it and never say a word? It's not like you can just go to a different caterer like you can go to a different restaurant. The owners are definitely not the ones who personally made the food but they are the ones who can change the menu. What's wrong with putting pressure on them to make an enjoyable meal?

has any caterer ever changed their menu because of something you posted on here? and exactly like i said, you cant change what item you order on a plane, so therefore there is no toeles in rating them so wrongly on a forum.
A lot of good points.

On the other hand, letting people waste their money is also wrong. Why should we care about the owner of the restaurant more than the one eating out.

Maybe the negative posts could be kept to situations where they would apply in many or all situations. (Example: The burger was not tasty or the food was too expensive.) But in other situations, such as July 4th Sunday and the place was packed and you had to wait a whole 20 minutes for your pizza, not to say.

because one's an issue d'oraisa and one is just an unfortunate circumstance. If you post about great places you ate and they decide to go somewhere else that people havent been posting about thats at their discression to try it out
Who says it's not toeles?

Isn't yidishe money being spent or vacation time off, toeles?

It's crazy to think that because someone is Jewish, people can't review their product/establishment IMO.


like i said, post nice things about where you had a good time, but posting really negative things about a restaurant is just not allowed... so it may sound crazy but thats just how we're supposed to live. again, rate them positively all you want. but negative criticism of someones burger is not worth the terrible issurim that one is violating, and at best walking on a tightrope

Offline Dan

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has any caterer ever changed their menu because of something you posted on here?
Yes. Many times.

For example, just last month I wrote that the Fresko fish in the UA EWR PL was very fishy (while praising several other dishes there). They messaged me thanks and to try the fish again next time as they changed the recipe and procedures.

I went back and it was delicious!

I know that Tabernacle and other restaurants have also made changes based on DD/DDF posts.
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Offline jj1000

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posting really negative things about a restaurant is just not allowed...
Disagree. You didn't address the fact that the review is toeles. And many restaurants and caterers have read reviews on here and improved. That is also 100% toeles.
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Offline Gvann

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Yes. Many times.

For example, just last month I wrote that the Fresko fish in the UA PL was very fishy (while praising several other dishes there). They messaged me thanks and to try the fish again next time as they changed the recipe and procedures.

I went back and it was delicious!

I know that Tabernacle and other places have also made changes based on DDF posts.

@Dan I think personally you carry a different weight to the matter than someone just posting to "stay away" even in this comment you admit you praised their dishes, and saying the fish was very fishy is just not the same negative tone that other comments have carried. IMO

Offline Gvann

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Disagree. You didn't address the fact that the review is toeles. And many restaurants and caterers have read reviews on here and improved. That is also 100% toeles.

I do not think that negativity can be justified with toeles, Im not talking about ethically, im talking about halachically. There is a way to rate someone's business and there is a way not to rate them. And the negativity that has been posted on here is not halachically allowed. end of story. If you say one thing thats not mutar to say and in the process "saved" 1000 people's money its not worth any of it.

Offline Dan

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@Dan I think personally you carry a different weight to the matter than someone just posting to "stay away" even in this comment you admit you praised their dishes, and saying the fish was very fishy is just not the same negative tone that other comments have carried. IMO
I agree that stay away isn't a productive or fair comment unless there's context added as to why.

But if someone had a genuinely bad experience, I don't have a problem with it being truthfully explained. People can spend their hard earned dollars elsewhere, and perhaps the restaurant will course correct. Sadly, Restaurants do listen and react more to online reviews than to people who complain directly where they can be blown off more easily. I've experienced this firsthand.
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Offline Gvann

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I do not think that negativity can be justified with toeles, Im not talking about ethically, im talking about halachically. There is a way to rate someone's business and there is a way not to rate them. And the negativity that has been posted on here is not halachically allowed. end of story. If you say one thing thats not mutar to say and in the process "saved" 1000 people's money its not worth any of it.

I am sure there may be a way to comment about something you did not like, as has been said possibly justifying it with facts, but its such thin rope and everyone just feels that they know exactly what they are allowed to say. And the fact of the matter is that many posts about restaurants are just completely vulgar in describing a yids business and you would never speak like that to their face.

Offline Gvann

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I agree that stay away isn't a productive or fair comment unless there's context added as to why.

But if someone had a genuinely bad experience, I don't have a problem with it being truthfully explained. People can spend their hard earned dollars elsewhere, and perhaps the restaurant will course correct. Sadly, Restaurants do listen and react more to online reviews than to people who complain directly where they can be blown off more easily. I've experienced this firsthand.

I do not think most negativity on here gets truthfully explained

Offline Dan

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I am sure there may be a way to comment about something you did not like, as has been said possibly justifying it with facts, but its such thin rope and everyone just feels that they know exactly what they are allowed to say. And the fact of the matter is that many posts about restaurants are just completely vulgar in describing a yids business and you would never speak like that to their face.
Earlier this year, JJ and I spent over 2 hours with our very busy ENT brother at a restaurant and got no food. The manager said, so sad, but the kitchen is now closed.
What do you do in that situation? Allow your fellow to waste their time there as well?

Why is his parnassah more valuable than your time and money?
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline Dan

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I do not think most negativity on here gets truthfully explained
So call it out, when it doesn't meet the outline here: https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=131402.msg2656425#msg2656425
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Offline Gvann

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Earlier this year, JJ and I spent over 2 hours with our very busy ENT brother at a restaurant and got no food. The manager said, so sad, but the kitchen is now closed.
What do you do in that situation? Allow your fellow to waste their time there as well?

Why is his parnassah more valuable than your time and money?

those are facts... there is no negativity in that comment other than saying what happened

Offline Gvann

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Quote
2.   One must be entirely factual, and not exaggerate even slightly. Thus, one must also avoid using opinionated negative words like terrible or awful.

Offline etech0

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What about people reading reviews about places in locations they have no intention of visiting?
Workflowy. You won't know what you're missing until you try it.

Offline yelped

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What about people reading reviews about places in locations they have no intention of visiting?
Your intention and Hashem's Intentions are two different things.... :)

Offline Gvann

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So call it out, when it doesn't meet the outline here: https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=131402.msg2656425#msg2656425

@Dan maybe these rules should be very clearly posted in threads where they are relavant.. (not a link, but the actual list of halachos)