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Recommendation website launched as ‘antidote’ to hotel and restaurant review sites

3 commentsBy Emma Eversham , 26-Oct-2011
Last updated the 26-Oct-2011 at 18:06 GMT

Related topics: Business, New Products, Restaurants, Hotels, Pubs & Bars, Technology

A new recommendation and discount website is being brought to the market as the ‘antidote’ to hotel and restaurant review websites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp.

Recommendation and offers websiteTrust Mico aims to provide an alternative to review and discount sites

Recommendation and offers websiteTrust Mico aims to provide an alternative to review and discount sites

Trust Mico, founded by chief executive Alex Small, aims to give power back to restaurateurs and hoteliers who have found themselves at the mercy of negative and, sometimes untrue, reviews by only allowing recommendations to be published on the site.

The website works by asking diners and guests if they wish to recommend a business to others once they’ve visited it. If they do, that recommendation is published online, but if they don’t and have a comment to make, the feedback is sent directly to the restaurant or hotel, not published online.

“We don’t think it’s fair for businesses to be treated the way they are at the moment. All the power has gone to the customer. A customer could blackmail a restaurant into giving them a free bottle of wine to stop them writing a bad review about their meal and the restaurant is powerless because anyone can write what they like on review sites," said Small.

“The main problem with review sites is that we are programmed to focus on the negatives not the positives and research has shown that you need to see five positive reviews to make up for one negative, so when you take negative reviews out and make something about recommendations you make a big difference to business."

Discounts and offers.

As well as providing an alternative to review sites, Trust Mico is aiming to take a share of the discount and incentives market. According to recent research by LiveBookings , the discount market is vast with restaurants in the UK offering £135m a week in discounts.

Businesses signing up to Trust Mico will be able to offer discounts and incentives to registered users as well as use the site to run a personalised loyalty scheme, Small told BigHospitality.

“Offering deals and discounts is completely free through us and businesses will also be able to control their offers once they are running. One of the comments we’ve had from businesses using incentive sites is that they sometimes put an offer out there and then didn’t quite expect the numbers of people to take it up so that in the end they lose money,” he added.

Trust Mico, which already has 2,500 registered users, will now run a marketing campaign with the aim of reaching 900,000 businesses.

Businesses are charged from £7.99 to £11.99 a month for a range of services. For more information visit www.trustmico.com

3 comments (Comments are now closed)

Trip Advisor

I am currently in dispute with Trip Advisor over a blatant attempt to denigrate our business . The question is -does Trip Advisor have the right to post every bad review submitted to them without thoroughly investigating both its source and the authenticity of its content? Answer no! It is patently obvious that Trip Advisor is 100% guilty of causing businesses to go under because of its total lack of any sort of responsibility towards companies who are genuinely doing a really good job. In any other business arena this behaviour would result in Trip Advisor having to face a huge corporate law suit instead of which they consistently avoid any sort of confrontation by simply ignoring the protests of property owners who have been abused and vilified by warped and mentally unstable mischief-makers. If a company providing hospitality has genuinely behaved badly towards a customer it should be given the chance first to defend itself and second to rectify its alleged misdemeanour before any derogatory report is posted on the internet. I should like to challenge Trip Advisor in a court of law and I am currently taking legal advice as to how to apply the UK's libel laws in respect of the false reporting posted by an author calling themselves "musntgrumble".

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Posted by Mike Pemberton
16 December 2011 | 22h44

Reply to SImon

Sometimes it isn't possible to get everything across in one article. On Trust Mico you choose first whether to recommend (or not) then a comment box appears where you can write your reasons for recommending (eg. great place for kids, try the rioja!). If you have recommended the business, then this comment can be seen by your friends and contacts (people registered on the site who are connected to you on LinkedIn and F/B).

You hit a really important facet of Trust Mico here though, and that is how we deal with a restaurant owner recommending himself on the site. Although you can see total numbers of public recommendations for a business, the purpose of the site is for you to find, simply and easily, the restaurants, bars, pubs, etc recommended by people you know (friends of friends coming soon). Unless you are connected to the restaurant owner by F/B or on LinkedIn, his recommendation should not affect you.

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Posted by Alex Small
27 October 2011 | 12h25

Nice idea but

I like the idea of giving restaurants the opportunity to fix complaints. Also consumers are far more likely to complain than to compliment so 1 bad review can do soo much damage. I think the site misses a trick though in not being able to review why an establishment is recommended. A tick doesn't carry any confidence for me. Who ticked? Why did they tick? Is it just a number of ticks from the owner or associated person? Not enough transparency is a trust issue for me.

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Posted by Simon Browning
27 October 2011 | 12h05

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