One could argue that a negative aspect of the growth of corporations is that when you travel across the country you will likely see the same stores and restaurants. While this does provide a great service for people who prefer safe choices when dining or shopping in a foreign place, it means that there is less variety in the marketplace. We all know exactly what we will get when we visit an Applebees or Starbucks in a different town, but we may be adverse to taking a risk with a restaurant we have never heard of.
That is where online reviews can save the day. Online reviews provide transparency of information and you can instantly make an accurate estimation of an establishment’s quality because you can see how satisfied other people have been in the past. This can significantly mitigate the risk of trying an unknown restaurant and if there are enough reviews you can have a high level of certainty about what you should expect. This information makes people less reliant on brands like Applebees which they have come to like and trust, and puts power back in the hands of mom and pops. You can contribute to saving the mom and pop business by writing local reviews to share your experience whenever you can.