Kosher Restaurant Review Lashon Harah

Home Forums Kosher Cooking! Kosher Restaurant Review Lashon Harah

Viewing 36 posts - 1 through 36 (of 36 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1746939

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    For years, I’ve always wondered why most of the kosher food columns and directories in the frum media (both print and online) either seem to be paid advertisements or bland profiles with location and business hours but hardly ever providing critical reviews on food quality, service and gourmet quotient. Would a 100 percent honest and objective review by a knowledgeable food writer which contained a lot of negative (but truthful) comments about a restaurant somehow be considered lashon harah or is a truthful review OK? I’ve always assumed the inyan of potential lashon harah a reason why the kosher food columns seem as bland as so many of the higher end kosher restaurants I’ve visited.

    #1746970

    Joseph
    Participant

    Yes, it would be Loshon Hora. Additionally, Jews are prohibited from posting such critical reviews about Jewish establishments on the general internet sites such as Yelp.

    Also note that such reviews are subjective. They are not absolute truth. And even if they were the L”H objection would apply.

    #1746975

    Grey matter
    Participant

    Not somehow. But yes real lashon hara the type that can cause dozens of lavin.

    #1746977

    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    Gadolhadorah,

    Wouldn’t it be l’toeles?

    #1746982

    Joseph
    Participant

    Besides L”H, many other issurim are additionally violated. Such as hasagas gvul, etc.

    #1746993

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Tastes are not the same. Is it not possiible thar what the reviewer does not like someone else likes?

    #1747004

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Are reviewers universally accepted?

    #1747037

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    “Are reviewers universally accepted?”
    “….reviews are subjective. They are not absolute truth..”

    Obviously….that is what a “review” is all about…ONE person’s assessment of the quality of the food, the level of service provided and what goyim would call the “ambience” of the restaurant. If you are going to spend $50-$75 per person for a dinner at a nice restaurant, you might want to know in advance what to expect. If a reviewer found that his/her food was over-cooked, the table linens were soiled and the servers seemed annoyed when you asked to have your water glass refilled, I might think twice about making a reservation, especially if I had confidence in that reviewers assessment based on prior experience. We regularly read stories and postings includingsome very harsh comments about the quality of the hashgacha at various restaurants but apparently its inappropriate to discuss the quality of the food and service at the same establishments.

    #1747032

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Anyone can post on Yelp and its a problem for kosher restaurants as Ive seen reviews of them and some werent fair.Non-Jews can review Some complained about the price, others complained about not being able to get Bacon or about the place being closed Friday night.

    Jews do need to post on Yelp otherwise all the reviews will be bad for unfair reasons

    #1747067

    Grey matter
    Participant

    Yes there is a distinction. Hashgacha is toeles. One is allowed to protect Jewish from eating potentially non-kosher food. Is is the obligation of a kashruth agency and a rabbi to inform there constituents about what is permitted and not.There is no obligation and no no hochech tochiach on food preference even on objective food preference. I think that if you learn a lesson a day it can be very helpful towards getting more clarity in these laws:

    #1747380

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Grey Matter: Learning a yiddeshe vert is not going to help you distinguish between objective metrics as to the quality of hashgacha A versus hashgacha B, both of which are presented as”kosher for mehadrim” but certain “mehadrim” won’t even consider B as compared with A (aka those whose hashkafah makes them captive to a particular niche hashgacha supervised by their rebbe etc.). Its rarely as easy as alerting the tzibur that the owner of a restaurant is sneaking in treife chickens through the back door while the mashgiach is awol. However, you seem ambivalent about the appropriateness of informing yidden seeking a special night out for dinner that their hard-earned funds are at risk because that same restaurant serves lousy food, because the rights of the restaurant owner take priority over his customers.

    #1747714

    Joseph
    Participant

    GHD: You seem to not like that Halacha has to say about this question.

    #1747820

    lakewhut
    Participant

    Reviews should be taken as constructive criticism. People have a right to know if their time will be wasted due to poor service. I’ve been to places where the staff was rude. You can help a fellow yid spend his money wisely.

    I’m sorry, I’m a bit confused. Are you trying to explain why it should be okay for us to post Lashon hora or motzei Shem ra b’farhesia? So people don’t waste money on bad restaurants? I must be missing something here…

    #1747844

    too geshmak
    Participant

    I think gadol and some of the others have a point in that the customer has a right to spend his money wisely. However, these are subjective opinions which vary from person to person and if I was a newspaper publisher or an influential food writer I wouldn’t want to take it on my pleitzas to disproportionately affect someone else’s parnasa based on my opinion alone

    #1747848

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    So take it one step futher. When there are critical postings in response to a story about poor service on El Al or overpriced food, double parking and trash accumulations at some simcha hall in Willy or BP is that considered LH/MSR or legitimate information that inform the tzibur in making wise decisions on spending scarce funds?

    #1747857

    Grey matter
    Participant

    I believe I made a distinction helping people keep Halacha and wich is an obligation according to the halachic authority’s or kashruth agency understanding of the Halacha moreover there is an obligation of hochech tochiach. I don’t believe ones not liking a service falls into that.i do understand that it is difficult to waste money however one must give up all of their money not to violate a lav I would like to stress that learning the Halacha would be extremely helpful.

    #1747928

    anonymous Jew
    Participant

    The responses here are amusing. Why aren’t Joseph’s reviews of OOT communities LH? After all, it’s just his opinion and can cause harm to those communities.

    #1747935

    anonymous Jew
    Participant

    And from the other side, how is talking about Brooklyn’s dirty streets different than a restaurant’s dirty floors?

    #1747999

    Grey matter
    Participant

    AJ if I understand you correctly are you saying you are saying that since certain things can be loshon hora(I doubt it) and we do it anyway therefore laws of LH are irrelevant and we should do wtvr we want.

    #1748088

    Goldilocks
    Participant

    Can we analyze three practical scenarios?

    A) I am the editor of a newspaper, and print a notice stating that the hashgacha on a certain restaurant is less than reliable.
    B) I am the editor of a newspaper, and print a notice saying that a certain restaurant features burnt food and poor service.
    C) My friend approaches me privately and asks, “I’m thinking of dining at restaurant abc, can you tell me if you think I’ll like it?” I reply that restaurant abc features burnt food and poor servive.
    Which of the above scenarios would be considered Loshon hora? Why?
    What guidelines would you use in differentiating between permitted and forbidden speech?

    #1748884

    anonymous Jew
    Participant

    Grey matter, just the opposite . We have to be consistent. If restaurant reviews are LH then so are community reviews or any other review ( contractors, seminaries etc )

    #1749033

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    If someone comes to you about a shiduch inquiry and you experienced it yourself, wouldn’t it be lifnei iveir if I told tell him what I experienced?

    #1749073

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The question above should be when I don’t tell what I personally experienced regarding the shidduch similarly,
    if someone asks you about a restaurant, can you tell what you personally experienced?

    #1749132

    qsman
    Participant

    If every restaraunt would serve quality, appropriate portions at the appropriate price points for that cuisine/venue, and provided excellent customer service no matter what the location. this topic would not be an issue. Mir has an overall excellent reputation which keeps bochrim coming to learn despite a percentage that falls through the cracks

    #1749145

    Grey matter
    Participant

    Goldilocks good question I already shared my thoughts on 1 and 2 in terms of 3 you definitely cannot lie and say it’s great I suspect you can’t say it’s bad either prob the best thing to do is say I suggest a restaurant down the block you’ll love the decor and dish x is my favorite (I hope no one takes ananymous halachik advice on a chat too seriously)

    AJ I’m thrilled to hear that

    Laskern the chofetz Chaim discusses that case in detail and describes how and when to say that negative information

    #1749199

    Ohevet Yisroel
    Participant

    Question of Loshon Horo belong to your LOR, online reviews are known to be subjective, anonymous, and suspect of being written by a competitor or best friend of the business owner. One bad review doesnt mean anything, 1000 absolutely do. A good manager reads the reviews and responds to the criticism with a thank you for the tip off, it wont happen again!! Any business owner will tell you that no feedback is worse than bad feedback. I think its all about how you present the (bad) facts. I once gave a scathing review on a kosher restaurant but I sprinkled it with deserved compliments. The manager immediately answered me online that they had a staff meeting that very night to discuss my review and changes were made and thank you for bringing these problems to their attention. The quiet unhappy customers arent helping.

    #1749200

    WarrenPeace
    Participant

    Interesting that no one has suggested approaching the owner of the resteraunt first and giving them a chance to improve. And then if they don’t show improvement then perhaps it is ok to share the information.
    That is what the Chofetz Chaim would say. It is one of the 7 conditions…
    What do you guys think about this idea?

    #1749214

    rational
    Participant

    Ohevet Yisroel is absolutely right, I’ll just add something.
    Restaurant owners need exposure for their businesses to succeed, word of mouth is not enough anymore. Most places are pleasant enough and many are wonderful places to dine. The good owner wants to be graded on his restaurant because he puts effort into it and knows people will like it and recommend it to others.

    Let the public have its’ say, and everyone will benefit. The fear of loshon hara here is a lose-lose situation. The customer loses because he doesn’t know the place is good, and the business owner doesn’t get to publicize that objective customer like his place.

    #1749221

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    rational – (and anyone else this applies to) – you can share your opinions on the matter all you want, and discuss all the virtues, but you seem to be missing the reality that if something is wrong halachically, we don’t do it. period.

    #1749229

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Im not totally sure this falls under the same as Loshon Harah

    1) Yelp reviews can be written by ANYONE Jews, Non Jews , even people who havent even gone into the place

    2) Most real reviews (You can tell which ones are revenge vs which ones are constructive critism) can help the owner. Posting such things as the service took too long might help the owner speed up the service before customers walk out

    3) Frankly JMO nobody is entitled to your business, if the food is lousy and the service stinks, other people do need to know about it and should have the same right to avoid

    #1749250

    rational
    Participant

    Almost all mehadrin restaurants here in Israel have websites and customer reviews. Most customers give good or excellent reviews , not all. The owner provides this website and is most interested in all reviews. The good ones that develop his clientele, and the bad ones so he can improve his product and service. This system is universally accepted and used, and loshon hara in this system has never been an issue. Yes. the halachah is always the halachah, period. This system, agreed upon and accepted by all, does not contravene any halachah. But incorrect interpretations of the halachah of loshon hara can damage both the consumer and provider, and that would be against halachah , and more than one at that.

    Shabbat Shalom from Eretz Hakodesh

    #1749245

    Joseph
    Participant

    rational: While it isn’t permitted to share a review with negative information, it IS permitted to post a fully positive review.

    Warren: The CC says no such thing.

    #1749259

    Yankelle
    Participant

    Maybe positive reviews should also be forbidden as it can lead to Avak Lashon Harah. I.e. Person A says that the pizza at Restaurant X is great, only for Person B to comments that it was the worst pizza that he ever consumed.

    #1749266

    klugeryid
    Participant

    Joseph
    If absolutely does
    You must first approach the person privately to try to fix anything negative Only if that does not work is it possible to tell others. That’s what he is referring to

    #1749267

    klugeryid
    Participant

    As to the question about toeles
    There are a few issues
    1) you may only tell the person to whom it’s applicable. A public review is open for everyone so it would not be permitted.
    2) the c”c, I believe in beginning of rechilus ninth perek Makes a clear distinction between responding truthfully and volunteering information. The first is often permitted. The second (to volunteer unasked, aka an online review) is almost always forbidden
    3) the heter of
    . תועלת הוא רק לעושה מעשה עמך והמבין יבין

    #1749276

    Grey matter
    Participant

    It seems like most comments don’t factor in the inconveniences of Halacha: it isn’t analyzing halacha that is being used to apply to successfull living rather the other way around. As if our perception of what is good and responsible should therefore shape the Halacha. Our perseverance as a nation is always to understand and keep the Halacha first and foremost moral and just behavior follow that strict adherence.

Viewing 36 posts - 1 through 36 (of 36 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.