When Yelp first came on the scene in 2004, restaurants were concerned, and perhaps even scared, at the thought of consumers giving public feedback about their restaurants. Many establishments tried to prevent the site from taking off, assuming that their business and reputation would be irreparably damaged. Yelp blazed the trail for consumer feedback. Ten years later, the consumer feedback system has grown tenfold, and a variety of social media platforms that serve as soapboxes for consumers to voice comments, questions and concerns. While some are still intimidated by this new age of transparency, others are taking advantage of it and their businesses are flourishing as a result.
One prime example of this is Clover Food Lab: a Boston-based fast-food chain that went from one food truck to six trucks, to five brick-and-mortar restaurants, then to a deal with Whole Foods, and is now expanding rapidly into other markets. Their secret? Data. That same chatter that frightens other restaurants is the secret ingredient to Clover Food Lab's success. Read More