In 2008 mobile applications started appearing on cell phones, tablets and personal computers. Starting from the beginning just a few apps like having email connected to your phone or browsing the web became a regular thing to do. Using a calendar on your phone made scheduling easier for people, while others were easily entertained by having a music playlist to listen to when waiting in lobbies while your oil is getting changed.
In time smartphones started becoming a necessity of the everyday life. As this advanced so did entertainment. More apps started appearing and instead of using smartphones for only emails or texting, we can now keep ourselves occupied by playing games or checking social media accounts.
Having advanced technology makes staying connected with friends and family easier without having to pick up a phone, we are able to get the news from opening an app. Even traveling has been made easier. There is no more risk on whether or not a place is good. No matter of opinion or flip of a coin to decide what is better, now apps like Yelp or Google with the help of people talking about it can make up your mind for you.
Nowadays just about every restaurant has a website and/or Yelp review. Instead of taking a chance on where to go, we rely on what others are saying about their experience at the place they ate at.
In Salt Lake City, Utah at a hole-in-the-wall pizza place called Pie Hole, Dan Johnson, 24, manages, cooks and breathes pizza all day long. He says about half the people who come in for a slice are from Yelp while the others are drunk 21-year-olds who need some cheese bread and meats to soak up their booze.
“Social media has made dealing with customers much easier, but not as much with the promoting side,” Johnson said. “I would say half is from Yelp and the other half is foot traffic.”
Although Pie Hole gets there main customers through people that are getting tanked at bars next door, having sites like Yelp has helped the managers know where others are saying about them and then are able to improve their restaurant.
“I think social media helps a lot, we use our Yelp reviews at the end of every quarter to know exactly what we did wrong in the last couple months,” Johnson said.
For Johnson, having Yelp can be useful but at the same time it takes away the excitement of trying a new restaurant for the first time.
“It is definitely the more convenient way to promote your business and cost effective, I think restaurants will be forced to work around social media,” Johnson said.
Robbie Stanfield, 47, only finds restaurants to go to mainly by reading about it in the food section of the LA Times or has relied on sites like Google.
“I’ll ask people where to go to when I’m not familiar with the area or especially when it is Ethnic food,” Stanfield said. “I do not trust sites like Yelp, I believe people blackmail the restaurants and try to take them down because they do not have anything better to do.”
Although the following generations will most likely depend on apps to help with making decisions, if one thing is certain, there will always be a matter of opinion.