General Guidelines

Gastrocheck allows users to contribute different kinds of content, including reviews, photos, votes, tips, private messages, and more. Playing nice isn’t rocket science, but just in case, we’ve put together these general guidelines. Please also read the guidelines below for specific types of content that you might contribute to the site.

  • Inappropriate content: Colorful language and imagery is fine, but there's no need for threats, harassment, lewdness, hate speech, and other displays of bigotry.
  • Conflicts of interest: Your contributions should be unbiased and objective. For example, you shouldn’t write reviews of your own business or employer, your friends’ or relatives’ business, your peers or competitors in your industry, or businesses in your networking group. Business owners should not ask customers to write reviews.
  • Promotional content: Unless you're using your Business Owners Account to add content to your business's profile page, we generally frown upon promotional content. Let's keep the site useful for consumers and not overrun with commercial noise from every user.
  • Relevance: Please make sure your contributions are relevant and appropriate to the forum. For example, reviews aren't the place for rants about a business's employment practices, political ideologies, extraordinary circumstances, or other matters that don't address the core of the consumer experience.
  • Privacy: Don’t publicize other people’s private information. Please don’t post close-up photos or videos of other patrons without their permission, and please don’t post other people’s full names unless you’re referring to service providers who are commonly identified by or commonly share their own full names.
  • Intellectual property: Don’t swipe content from other sites or users. You’re a smart cookie, so write your own reviews and take your own photos please!

Review Guidelines

The best reviews are passionate and personal. They offer a rich narrative, a wealth of detail, and a helpful tip or two for other consumers. Here are some additional thoughts for conscientious reviewers.

  • Personal experience: We want to hear about your firsthand consumer experience, not what you heard from your co-worker or significant other. Try to tell your own story without resorting to broad generalizations and conclusory allegations.
  • Accuracy: Make sure your review is factually correct. Feel free to air your opinions, but don't exaggerate or misrepresent your experience. We don't take sides when it comes to factual disputes, so we expect you to stand behind your review.
  • Review updates: Review updates should reflect a new experience or interaction with the business. Don't tell the same old story you've already told. If you'd like to add new insight to an old experience, just edit your review instead of creating a new update.

Photo Guidelines

Business photos should be broadly relevant to the business and reflect the typical consumer experience (e.g., what the business looks like, what the business offers, etc.).

If you post a photo that showcases a more unique personal experience with a business (e.g., your smiling group of friends at the bar, the fly in your soup), we may remove it.

Business Owner Guidelines

Business owners should be getting in on the act, too. Some words of wisdom:

  • From the Business: You can use the description to tell people a little something special about your business. Please keep it relevant: don't use this feature to attack your competitors, reviewers, or Gastrocheck, and don't use it to seed keywords or post special offers or promotions — we'll remove them if we see them.
  • Public Comments: Private messaging is often the best way to resolve a dispute with an unhappy customer, but business owners can also address issues publicly by posting a public comment. Don't use public comments to launch personal attacks, advertise, or offer an incentive to change a review.
  • Don't ask customers for reviews: Don't ask your customers to review your business on Gastrocheck. Over time, solicited reviews create bias in your business listing — a bias that savvy consumers can smell from a mile away.