Recently, a restaurateur (let’s call him Mr. A) posted some glowing reviews of his own place on burrp!. It happens more often than not (if you are wondering what do we do in cases like these, then read on). What happened in this case was that he also signed up under different accounts and wrote quite a few negative reviews for the restaurant next door – his main competitor, I presume. Now that is bad. The burrp! community is very alert and quickly pointed this out. We took down the reviews written by the restaurateur. Mr. A repeated this behaviour 3-4 more times. Bad bad bad.
Mr. A’s place was not upto the mark when I went there a few months ago. I wrote my honest review on burrp!. A few others burrpers who went there on separate trips also didn’t enjoy the experience and let out their opinions on the site.
Ideally this restaurateur should’ve read the reviews and fixed what’s broken. Instead he defended the negative points of his place by blaming it on the circumstances. C’mon.
Two days ago, Mumbai Mirror carried a piece on his place and rated it bad on food and average on service, ambiance and everything else. That proves the point. The restaurateur was too busy focusing on what his competitor is doing instead of minding his own business. His place is still sub par.
Why am I blogging about this? This incident should be a good lesson for budding entrepreneurs and the other startups out there. Don’t get too obsessed with what others are doing. If you copy product features or strategies from your competitors you are playing desparate. Try to innovate. You might fall flat on your face, but at least you’ll get points for trying. Spend some effort to figure out what is broken or not working. That itself is the battle half won.
Get busy focusing on your own stuff. I am not asking you to bury your head in the sand. Keep an eye on the marketplace. Try to understand the intent behind your competitor’s strategy moves, but stay focussed on your own.
I hope the restaurateur reads this blog.