Dine out, then go online to share your experience

Yadig.com - New website a forum for those who visit restaurants, hotels, bars.
Feb. 15, 2011 - PRLog -- Dubai: Blogs and social media platforms abound on the web where anyone with a rant can have his say.

Now, patrons of food and beverage outlets in the UAE can air their complaints if they are not happy with the cuisine or the service.

Yadig is a website that invites residents and tourists to share their views of the country's dining outlets.

Users are only given 150 characters with which to review a venue to ensure the feedback is pithy and to the point.

To encourage the steady flow of communications, each user's family and friends can be notified by Facebook when a new review is posted.

A disclaimer has been posted at the bottom of the site to ensure the concerned business knows that the opinions expressed on the site are those of the individual.

"The site was created a bit out of frustration — I grew tired of going to the same places," said Saif Al Zarouni, who founded Yadig along with Johnny Huntington, the chief technology officer.

"The site will open people's eyes to all the different places in the UAE. It'll give people more of a voice and let them know if a place is good or bad."

Globally, the rise of sites such as Expedia have led to comments and criticisms on hotels being posted by customers, satisfied or otherwise with the experience they have had at the establishment.

These sites have the influence to make or break a business.

According to Al Zarouni there are more than 2,800 restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, nightclubs and hotels in the UAE, all of which need to be scrutinised, critiqued and put on the map in the hot or not section.

The site can be a blessing — or a curse — to businesses as consumers get a chance to leave an indelible opinion about the UAE's many food and beverage venues.

Steady rise

"We have seen a steady rise in the number of users registering at Yadig, as well as the traffic to our website," said Al Zarouni.

"Considering the fact that Yadig was only launched in November 2010, we are pleased with the progress and are confident that our community of users will maintain its strong pace and continue to grow."

Al Zarouni, who has roots in the UAE and the US, formed the site modelled on a number of American internet concepts which are designed to empower consumers and cater to those seeking full transparency.

"Growing up in the US, the internet provides so much information about places to go, etcetera," said Al Zarouni.

"The Middle East on the other hand is a pretty raw market in terms of user information online."

He describes the site as a hybrid of a review and social networking site which encourage users to connect and provide useful information.

"The whole point behind Yadig is learning from other people's experiences while sharing your own," he said. "The more people engage regularly with Yadig, the better it becomes as a community resource."

A breakdown of Yadig users shows they are mostly UAE residents who want to share their experiences with friends and family.

However, judging by the rate at which the online community is growing, Al Zarouni said it was expected that tourists and holidaymakers to make up a significant proportion of the site's users in the near future.

Revenues are expected to primarily be generated by advertising, and the site will also encourage businesses to sign up and create their own pages.

Al Zarouni doesn't think any critique posted on the site will deter potential advertisers.

"Companies are well aware of the fact that users will offer their honest opinions and, thus, there can be both positive and negative reviews," he said.

TOP Five Tips

- Make sure to test and re-test your product to work out all the kinks before the launch.

- Ensure you've completed all legalities and the registration processes.

-  Stay positive - there will be delays and unexpected obstacles when starting a new venture.

-  Many good ideas have failed due to ineffective execution, so invest in hiring a great team.

-  Welcome constructive criticism and feedback on how to improve your products and services.

More Info:

Source: http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/dine-out-then-go-onl...

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Yadig.com is a review based, crowd created, and networking website. Yadig helps stimulate, sustain and renew long lasting business-consumer relationships through customer generated reviews.
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